By KELLI K. NICHOLAS, Marketing Coordinator — Michigan Works!
Attending classes alone may not be enough to ensure high levels of academic development. With the rise of technology, learning is no longer confined to physical classrooms and some students are better suited to learn at their own pace using their own learning style.
Supplemental educational experiences through jobs, service learning projects, athletics, school groups and internships give students chances to spread their wings, try new skills and develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills. These are skills that one cannot learn about fully by opening a book. Research has proven that students who are more active learners become confident, have more friends, are willing to try new things and feel more attached to their academic program.
That being said, how does one find these types of experiences? A first place to start is spending time reading through newspaper classified ads and news stories, and mitalent.org. Internships can be found by contacting businesses and non-profit organizations you think may hire people with your desired skill set. From time to time, Michigan Works! has had students help in different ways, including assisting with mock interviews or creating a database needed for a grant project.
Paid or more likely volunteer experience will help set you apart from others who only have a classroom background. Oftentimes, these experiences can be used to create portfolios with work examples that can be used while interviewing.
By becoming active in your own lifelong learning, it will help you decide if the career path you choose is a good fit. If the first company does not have a need, then contact another. By taking a proactive approach, you are showing you are in control of your path and who knows … you may find an alternative path you never knew existed and meet some great friends along the way.
(Mid Michigan Career Outlook is a regular monthly feature of The Laker Current.)