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Students participating on campus gain invaluable skills

Credit: Erika Faust

Chelsea Cowling, left, and Ola Akinsara got their swag on while volunteering with the Fanshawe Student Unionís Movember fundraiser for menís health.


Melanie Anderson | Interrobang | News | April 8th, 2013



New research published by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario reveals that students who participate in activities on campus are more likely to improve skills valued highly by the labour market.

Getting involved at Fanshawe can range from volunteering for various awareness week activities to being a member of student government to assisting other students in programs such as peer tutoring.

Along with working for the Student Union as a work study student, FSU President Zack Dodge started the Fanshawe Gaming League on campus.

“It allows you to take the experience you're getting in the class and apply it to a real world scenario; you're working with a team, you're organizing events, you're finding new ways to use the skillset that you've been refining in class,” he said.

The HEQCO study found that students involved in activities scored significantly higher in core skills such as mobilizing innovation and change, communication, personal time management, problem solving and analytical skills — all skills that will make a difference in your future job hunt.

“A potential employer wants somebody that has engaged in their community, whether it's in a college or in the community,” said FSU operations manager John Young.

He added that employers don't typically look at your grades. “Even if you get a 90, they're not looking for that; they're looking for students who are engaged.”

The study, which was completed at the University of Guelph, found that students who volunteered in peer academic support programs and volunteer to help others score even higher on mobilizing innovation and change than those involved in other campus activities.

Whether you're a sports nut, computer whiz or fashion queen, find a way to use and develop your skills on campus.

“When you leave the academic environment and you're looking for a job, it shows that you're not just self-centred and just wanna get through school, but you're actually thinking of the community and the people that you can impact,” said Dodge.

Young added that students should ask themselves, “How are you going to stand out as a graduate in these economic times with 18.5 per cent unemployment in London for students?”

Look at the statistics and stand out: volunteer on campus.

For ways to get involved at Fanshawe visit: www.fanshawec.ca/firstyear/involved.
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