Many college students will tell you that finding a job is at the top of their list of worries. We are constantly hearing that there are few job openings in the real world, and we dread the day when we are no longer living the mostly carefree life of a college student. I, as a senior, can definitely relate to these feelings, but I do feel a bit more confident than others might when it comes to finding a job because I have taken a co-op at New Jersey 101.5.
A co-op is similar to an internship because you are working for a company for college credit. There are some differences though. A co-op requires more hours of work and is worth more credits. For my co-op, I will receive 12 credits, while an internship typically provides three. Also, students tend to be paid more for a co-op.
Co-ops help students become better educated in their fields of interest as well. They’re more in-depth than internships and often will require the completion of more challenging tasks. Not only am I working with promotions, but I am also producing a lot of material for the station’s website. I get to observe how the DJs run their shows and a little bit of what goes on in production, leading to a very enriching experience.
I think a co-op is a great way for college students to find and secure a job, as well as transition from student to full-time worker. I am adjusting to working longer days rather than going to short classes and having long windows of time in between them. I am also getting used to looking professional and dressing for the workplace daily, rather than rolling out of bed and wearing whatever I want. I am glad I made this transition during college, rather than having to adjust after graduation. It definitely makes students better prepared and will leave a good impression on people and future employers.
I also believe that a co-op can help you secure a job. By showing hard work and dedication in a co-op, you can make a valuable impression on your colleagues. If jobs open up within the company, you may be first in line for the position. If positions do not open up, your impression may earn you recommendations for other jobs. Not only do co-ops help you to find and secure a job, but they can also help you make lasting connections in the workforce. We live in a world where we are constantly reminded how hard the job-finding process is. Taking a co-op would be doing yourself a favor, and can possibly save you from the hassle of searching for a job down the line.
Senior digital media major
Printed in the 10/30/13 edition.