Social skills important for jobs

Wednesday’s career fair serves as a stark reminder that the real world looms ahead of us. Whether you aim for graduate school or a job, interviews and applications for life after college will inevitably become necessary – but that coveted 4.0 might not be enough.Attaining and succeeding in the real world requires relational skills and team-working abilities, not just book smarts or a degree earned with minimal effort.

Earning good grades and truly learning information is the reason we’re here. To get through a class without completing any reading or by copying homework from a friend or an organization’s test files is a waste of time and money.

However, pure fact-memorization is not enough in a world where communicating ideas is almost as important as coming up with and understanding them.

In addition to getting as much as you can out of curriculum, students should also seek ways to hone their networking, communication and team-working skills, which are essential to holding down any job.

If you happen to get a B in a class because you spent a lot of time developing a campus project or working at a job in your field, you probably still have more to offer than your peer who got all A’s but never juggled school along with time-consuming jobs and activities.

But, if you get a C in a class and still don’t have work experience or leadership in a student organization to add to your resume, you will probably hear more than one, “don’t call us, we’ll call you” at the end of your interviews.

Strive for a balance – we’re here to learn information, and that means really learning it. However, we’re also here to figure out how to succeed when we leave, which means knowing how to interact with people and apply skills that go beyond what you heard in yesterday’s lecture.

News editor Kathleen Thurber for the editorial board