Most worthwhile experiences gained outside classroom

As a soon-to-be UM graduate, I feel semi-confident saying this: do not solely rely on classes to prepare yourself for the outside world. The best way to gain experience in your future field … actually working in that field. This is not a groundbreaking take, but it is what comes to mind first when reflecting on the last four years.

Since I’m a sucker interested in journalism, writing for the Hurricane and the Miami Herald was far more valuable than any one class. (Except for yours, Professor Kaufman, of course! Please don’t fail me.) This is through no fault of the professors here. There’s just no way for them to replicate the singular experience of writing on deadline with editors counting on you to deliver.

This applies to every profession, not just journalism. If you run a successful business while in school or code a useful program, employers will be far more impressed than if you made the Dean’s List junior year. Future surgeons and lawyers … sorry this isn’t very useful advice. Performing heart surgery or trying a case in front of a judge while still an undergrad may not be feasible.

Acing your classes will make your parents happy, but it isn’t necessarily what will land you your dream job. Take advantage of all the opportunities in the city of Miami, not just the university.

Mark Singer is graduating with a degree in English and will be attending Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.