Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Personal PR #4

GPA is everything... or is it? In a post titled "Students: The 9 things that matter more than GPA" on PR Daily by Becky Johns, the topic of GPA importance is discussed. Like normal I am a fan of numbered lists and just lists in general. This list has intrigued me at the moment because it makes me feel better about getting some "C"'s. Even though your GPA is important because you want to show off how hard you worked at your studies, but does GPA matter in the professional world?  

The overwhelming opinion was that college GPA matters very little in professional success. 
Grades are the determining factor for performance in school. But in the professional world, that’s not how it works. Your bosses won’t tell you which questions will be on the test.

Your college GPA is a combination of multiple factors, but really is not the only or best indicator of your work ethic. Personally, I know really intelligent people who struggle with people interactions and on the other end I know those who struggle with school and make outstanding progressions because of their social abilities. Book smarts and street smarts are very different things and it takes both aspects to make a well-rounded employee.

Instead of always being concerned with your GPA try taking classes seriously, attending and engaging during them, talk to professors and learn something.

Here’s what does matter in the professional setting:

Knowing how you learn
Do you need to: hear it, see it, write it, or practice it? Find which way helps you retain the information and stick with it!

Applying theory to real-life situations
Take the classroom learned theories and apply them to situations you will actually come across in your profession. Knowing how to do something from a textbook is completely different from real-life practice.

Time management
Everyone seems to boast about how they possess time management, but to actually hold-up that claim is another story. Time management is a vital skill. In your professional life, you’ll need to know how to manage your time to meet deadlines. There is no getting around this one!

Relevant professional experience
Take advantage of any professional experience while in college. This can include jobs, internships, student organizations and volunteer projects in your field that will prepare you for the work world.

The ability to give and receive feedback
If you can dish it out, then take it. Learning to accept praise and criticism is so important. There will be employee reviews, so the ability to hear different types of feedback and fixing the issue accordingly will matter most. On the other end, it is good be able to give feedback. Learning how to deliver this negative news is a great trait to have in the professional world.

Presentation skills
Learn how to properly present and get comfortable with the idea of presenting. The ability to convey ideas clearly, speak confidently with your bosses, and discuss your experience in interviews will be an important part of your professional life.

Writing skills
I feel like this one is pretty obvious. Know how to: spell, use basic grammar, proofread and ask for more sets of eyes to look over your work. Like the old saying, practice makes perfect, it wouldn't hurt to continually be writing and improving your skills.

Your network
Basically, it's not what you know, but who you know. If you have made a good name for yourself or built a strong network of professionals, it is easier to get your foot in the door to a job or company you are interested in.

Any further thoughts on this GPA topic? What else matters more for students than GPA?

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