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Editorial

Failing economy threatens students

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February 5, 2009

There is no way to sugarcoat it: the economy is in trouble. The American people have entered a severe economic recession, leading to rising unemployment. UW-River Falls graduates are entering a workplace brought to its knees by an anemic job market. Students need to be aware of this, taking steps in their academic career as early as possible to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack.

The easiest thing students can do is take their schoolwork seriously. Instructors and professors assign the work they do for a reason. Take pride in these assignments, plan them out and do the best job possible. It is as simple as that. Class projects, when done well, will not only get the sort of grade employers like to see, they can be put into personal portfolios. Students’ ability to survive in the cutthroat private sector will depend on their ability to stand apart from and ahead of the rest of their competition.

Beyond the classroom, UWRF provides a wealth of services free-of-charge. One such resource is the Career Center, located in Hagestad Hall. The Career Center staffs a team of professionals well educated in business practices. Any student, regardless of class standing or major, can make an appointment at Career Services to go over resume writing, cover letter composition, successful interview skills and a host of other tips and tricks helpful towards positive personal marketing after college.

The most important tool in a student’s arsenal, more crucial than a quality portfolio or a trip to the Career Center, is self-motivation. Every change, every advantage that any graduate has must start with the individual. It is a dog-eat-dog world, and the idea of handouts ranks right up there with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. The times are tough; graduates must be even tougher, taking the initiative to create their own fortune.

Few people are guaranteed jobs out of college, but there are ways individuals can better their chances for hire. Take pride in your work, do the very best work, compile a portfolio to supplement professionally written resumes and cover letters and seek help and advice from the professionals paid to support you. Get started before your last semester too; building up a quality portfolio and searching for jobs take time. Don’t leave these things until the last minute and find yourself scrambling. Part of the fees and tuition every student pays go towards providing free services, so why not take advantage of them?

Every college campus, including ones that have a more prestigious reputation than UWRF in the minds of employers, produces graduating seniors with 4.0 GPAs. UWRF graduates must make sure that employers take notice of UWRF alumni, bursting on the scene in ways that will make employers’ heads’ turn. Otherwise, they will be left asking the question, “Why hire a Falcon?”