For Honors College Students, Growth Opportunities Extend Beyond Classroom

woman shaking hands

Of all the attributes that help you get ahead in your career, there are few valued more by employers than critical thinking skills and hands-on experience. 

The former shows that you have the ability to focus, analyze, comprehend, and decide on a course of action in even the most chaotic and fast-moving situations. The latter shows that you are skilled in your area of expertise and won’t require costly training or hand-holding.

Fortunately, college students – especially those adept at challenging themselves in Ashford University’s Honors College – have the opportunity to mentally and physically stretch in both areas, in and outside of the classroom. This characteristic, combined with the ability to immediately apply each academic lesson to his or her professional lives, adds immeasurable value to every student competing in the workforce. 

So, what hands-on growth opportunities exist beyond the classroom? Here are four that every Honors College student should consider:

1. Be the Intern Everyone Remembers

An internship not only allows you to get a foot in the door of the company or industry in which you want to succeed, but it comes with less pressure and much more upside. Most likely, as the lowest person on the totem pole, expectations may be equally low, giving you the chance to exceed beyond what your co-workers and bosses expect, leaving them with the impression that you’re someone who deserves a future opportunity. 

You should take this approach regardless of pay. Your mission is to apply what you’re learning in school to a real-world organization. It’s your chance to ask questions, offer ideas, and see how professionals in the positions you aspire to overcome obstacles and create change. 

If you’re just starting your internship search, try employing the BRAIN Method to find one that suits your ambitions. 

2. Add New Skills for Every New Day

You’ve already mastered an online schedule and learned to balance work, family, and school, so you’re up to the challenge of building your skillset in your spare time. [email protected] is a new, massive online suite of courses that cover specific, in-demand skills, and they are curated by experts in their respective industries.

Of all the attributes that help you get ahead in your career, there are few valued more by employers than critical thinking skills and hands-on experience.

These online courses are ideal for students looking to target one area of need on their resume or in their day-to-day work lives. For example, if your boss is looking for someone with exceptional PowerPoint experience, you can take a course in Effective Presentations then quickly apply the knowledge and display the ability to get the job done. 

[email protected] also offers courses in programming and coding, human resources, sales, and project management tools, as well as certifications that can add another dimension to your resume.

Best of all, Ashford University Honors College students get a 25 percent discount on any course from [email protected] for a limited time! Visit your Honors College welcome page to learn more.

3. Embrace the Mentor/Mentee Possibilities

One of the benefits of being an Honors College student is your access to an Ashford faculty member who will serve as your mentor during your courses. The mentor/mentee relationship is one that leaves a lasting impression on both parties and can result in lifelong friendships.

As a student, serving in either capacity is a smart networking move and can help you develop better communication skills. Honors College students are already counted among the most academically successful at Ashford University, and they make ideal candidates for the CHAMPS Peer Mentoring program.

Keep in mind, being a mentor or mentee doesn’t have to consume a great deal of your time -- you may only maintain the relationship through the occasional email – but anything you can bring to the table that is positive and helpful will be valued. 

4. Find Volunteer Opportunities

Not only do volunteer opportunities look great on a resume, but they also serve a greater purpose in your community, even if you’re able to dedicate just a few hours of your time. 

Volunteering can be a humbling experience and one that’s incredibly fulfilling on a personal level. Unlike an internship, volunteer opportunities usually exist outside of your chosen profession. But they are great for networking and interpersonal relationship building. You might even find your professional calling through your volunteer pursuits!

Ashford hosts its own volunteer events through the S.T.A.R. program, in which all students are invited to participate. You can inquire about volunteer opportunities in your area through the University website.    

No matter how you choose to pursue learning outside of the classroom, you are positioning yourself for future success. The hands-on experience you gain makes you a more balanced professional, confident in your interactions with others and your ability to get any job done.

 

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Written by Ashford University staff

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