Getting Involved


For my final blog post I thought I would talk about what advice I would give to next year’s SOJC senior class. It’s a very ‘90s high school movie thing to do, I know, but I feel like Freddy Prinze Jr. would have appreciated it. My advice is to be involved.Be involved in as many different aspects of your desired profession so that when you graduate from the University of Oregon your portfolio will be bursting with interesting experiences.

Now this is all the same stuff that your professors have been preaching to you about for the last nine months, but you have no idea how many doors could open up from your involvement. Sure, there will be a couple of people in your class who land great, and I mean GREAT, jobs even before graduation day but for a lot of others getting that dream job means have to take baby steps and putting in due diligence.

From my own personal experience, one small internship helped me get offered a spot with Allen Hall Public Relations, which in turn helped me get another internship in Portland the following summer, which then helped me get the opportunity here with the Portland Senior Experience. Although I have found myself thinking “will I be doing internships for the rest of my life?” I truly believe that each individual internship and opportunity has helped pave my professional path and in the exact direction I want to go in.

Shannon Kluss

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10 Responses to Getting Involved

  1. jamesynwa says:

    I feel like I should be listening to “Closing Time” or something off “Ten Things I Hate About You” while reading this post. This is some great advice for potential PDXSX candidates though – internships are really the only way to combat that “experience required” clause in most job postings. It sounds like you’ve done well to pursue different opportunities along the way and increase your value as a job candidate. Your range of experience will prove to be a worthy investment for your future.

  2. Great post! I’ve felt the same way before about going from internship to internship and wondering if an actual job will come of it. However, like you point out in your post, each internship leads to new opportunities and in my case has shown me something about myself and where I want my career to go from there. “Baby steps” is a great way to put it. Great advice for future PDXSXers and pretty much all other students as well.

  3. zolfaghari says:

    Love this post. Getting involved is the ultimate challenge and as a result, the ultimate character builder for young professionals such as ourselves. I remember when I moved down to Eugene as a Junior that if I wanted to make anything of myself, I’d have to go beyond just doing homework and passing my classes. It’s the extra efforts we make that distinguish us from the rest of our peers. The best part is that it actually works. Need proof? Look at where we’re at now.

  4. agavette says:

    I totally agree! This is good advice for future PDXSXers (and journalism students in general). I think people underestimate the value of getting involved. Each experience you have gives you another thing to talk about during job interviews or networking, not to mention any skills you obtain during even the smallest of internships or volunteer activities. I also think it’s true that every door of opportunity leads to another, and another, and another…thanks for that reminder!

  5. Great advice, Shannon. I kinda giggled when reading the intro to this post, because all I could think about was Grease when the principle is giving her speech over the intercom with her assistant/secretary on the xylophone. This is great advice, and advice I wish I had been given as a sophomore. A majority of my internships happened during my senior year, trying to cram in as much as I could to catch up with everyone else in my program. Had I have heard this sooner, chances are I’d still be here in this program but without jam packing my Fall and Winter terms. I agree with Allie that people do underestimate the value of getting involved and how many doors it can open for you in the future. Get involved early, keep contact and don’t burn bridges. Thanks for this, Shannon, and best of luck with the rest of our time here!

  6. Allyson Will says:

    I completely agree with your post. One thing I would add is to get involved with this that don’t have to do with your major. Employers want to see people that are well rounded and aren’t afraid to try something new. Some of my portfolio work are columns I wrote while studying abroad. In a few of my interviews, my study abroad experience has been one of the biggest topics of conversation. If an employer knows that you are qualified they just want to know more about YOU and what you are like as a person. Congrats!

  7. Shannon Sloan says:

    Great advice. I say the more internships the better. Plus, it sounds like it’s allowed you to really understand what you enjoy and what you’d rather not do. The one piece of advice I give to college students is gain as much experience as possible, I wish I had done so sooner.

  8. I think your strategy was a great way to go for your career goals. It’s also important to explore as a student, though. Sometimes, if you become bent on one path over all other possible experiences, you miss out on some opportunities to stretch yourself and maybe contribute indirectly to your portfolio of adventures. I’ve taken a very zig-zagged road to finishing university in the spring of my fifth year. I’ve balanced two passions — writing and winemaking — the whole time. The non-traditional combination meant I spent summers in the winery and winters in the classroom. But, it’s turned out to be a killer combination for me. Keep your eye on the prize, but don’t be afraid to deviate a bit and see what else you might learn.

  9. rkaapu says:

    Thanks for this post Shannon. I know I would’ve greatly appreciated advice like this from peers earlier on in my academic and professional career. I do agree that internships are the most helpful and beneficial aspect of my life thus far. Obviously, without my education I wouldn’t have gotten those internships that I did, but what has most prepared me for life were the things I experienced during my internships. I am so happy that we have all been able to be a part of this senior experience and dip our feet into the waters of “real life.”

  10. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Shannon!
    ~J

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