There is more to school than GPA


Daily Illini File Photo

Busey smiles for the camera as she enjoys the company of Mary Kate Feldner, sophomore in LAS, during the Pat-the-Pup event hosted by the Illini Service Dogs at the Main Quad on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

By Jean Kang, Video Editor

If I were allowed only to give one piece of advice to incoming freshmen, it would be to network. I don’t know how much to stress the importance of networking. This is college. Yes, we’re here to achieve our future goals and career aspirations by obtaining high GPA’s and receiving our bachelor’s or master’s degree, but we’re also here for other important reasons. 

We’re here to find our life-long friends and partners, to connect with as many people as we can to increase our network capacity.

What I’ve learned from college is that having connections and good relationships with people is just as important or maybe even more important than getting good grades. Having a lot of people in your network is never a bad thing. 

You never know who you’ll meet; that person could be your future business partner, your employer or someone that helps you get hired for your dream job or internship.  That’s why you should never leave a bad impression with anyone you meet in college. Be nice to everyone you meet. Help people out whenever you can. Make friends. Be social.

Drop that homework assignment and go out with your friends to a social event. Join extra-curricular activities that will benefit your career and network. 

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

From my personal experience, becoming close friends with people in my major has been so beneficial. They can help with picking classes and professors, give advice when applying for internships, assist with homework assignments and we get through the stress together.

Having good relationships with professors is also very important. When you’re applying for internships, you might need recommendation letters so don’t sit all the way in the back in class and never say a word. Say hello to your professors every time you see them in the hallway. Go to office hours, even if it’s just to introduce yourself. 

I’m not saying that GPA is not important because it is, especially if you’re planning to apply for graduate school.  The key idea is that GPA is not the most important aspect of your resume. 

If you have a resume with a 4.0 GPA, and that’s the best thing about your resume, then that’s a problem. Employers want an active participant of the community. That means they want someone that participated in more than one extra-curricular activity, someone that’s passionate and has ambition and has a fairly good GPA, but they’ll understand if you don’t have a great GPA and were highly involved in college. 

But don’t get me wrong.  If you have a good GPA and a lot of experience and still don’t get hired, then that’s okay.  Employers aren’t just looking for a perfect candidate with a good GPA and an impressive experience section on their resume, they’re looking for someone that they think will fit in their company and will work well in their environment. 

It could be that they think your personality won’t fit and that might be a good thing.  You want to work somewhere where you’ll thrive and your personality is a good match with the people you work with. 

Jean is a senior in Media
[email protected]