Students: Get Some Skin in the Game

daniel-piscoya-1BY DANIEL PISCOYA
Managing Editor, UAS Whalesong

Being the Editor of our university’s student newspaper is a position which has offered me deep involvement in campus life, university politics, and the greater Juneau community.

Looking back, though, I’ve been the Editor of the Whalesong for two years – that’s half my college career and two-thirds the amount of time I’ve been involved with the Whalesong in the first place. I was offered this position only a year after I started work as a Staff Writer.

I am a man of no exceptional talent and no previous journalism experience – I just said I was interested.

After that statement has sunken in, students at this university ought to realize that there may be opportunities for deep involvement with university organizations, student clubs, and community programs that outstrip not only the other UA campuses, but most other universities in the nation.

Schools like UAS – small but well-connected – offer opportunities for involvement that aren’t available anywhere else. In today’s job market, taking advantage of these opportunities – getting skin in the game – may be crucial to success.

I’m not just talking about the Whalesong, although we will have job openings next semester.

Felix Thillet with Radio UAS – a man with so many hats I’m not even sure what his official title is – has told me on more than one occasion that he wants more members in his club. Radio UAS not only offers exposure to the campus and Juneau community, the club works closely with KXLL and it’s a hell of a thing to put on a resumé, I’m sure.

For those of you who do not know, UAS also has an Honors program. Directed by Professor Sol Neely, this program is designed to be compatible with many degree programs, and requires no rigorous selection process – just a meeting with Neely. If I had known about the program a year or two earlier than I did, I would have been a part of it.

Furthermore, there are plenty of diverse volunteer opportunities that the university conveniently points students directly towards. On the UAS Juneau website under ‘Activities and Involvement,’ there are a number of current volunteer opportunities at places like AWARE and Bartlett Hospital. You only have to click the link.

Overall, the slow onset of panic that students can start to feel as graduation looms – the one where we wonder if our degree is worth it, and where we’ll find a job – can be lessened by the abundance of opportunities we have here. In many cases, all any of us has to do is click a link or send an e-mail.

If, and I’m sure Deb Rydman would agree with me, job searching is all about networking and getting to know people in the community, we have no excuse here at UAS.

Feel free to contact Managing Editor Daniel Piscoya at the Whalesong e-mail: uas.whalesong@alaska.edu.

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