Risky Business

My friend Lowell Oswald isn’t your average BYU student.

Most BYU students are consumed with only two goals: doing their best to get married and attending school (or dropping out, if they’ve achieved said goal of getting married). If they have time leftover after those two strenuous activities, they might work a minimum-wage pseudo-job, doing things like pulling up perfectly good flowers.

But Oswald is marching to the beat of his own drum. He goes to school full-time, works full-time as a graphic designer and, on top of that, has started his own wedding video business.

In the past five months, Oswald’s business, ehansen productions, has grown so much he made $15,000-which is more than half his yearly salary as a graphic designer.

To outdo his competition, he’s used his revenue to purchase a high definition camcorder, a steady-cam and three new computers.

Oswald is only 22, but this isn’t even his first business. While still in high school, he wrote a Palm Pilot program for teachers that enabled them to track the behavior of their students.

As a result of his real world experience, he won’t have made any babies by graduation, but he will be light-years ahead of his classmates who focused on?other endeavors.

Nothing in the classroom can equal real-world experience. But even though not all of us want to start our own businesses after we graduate, we can still complete internships in the field we’re studying.

A recent study by the Utah Foundation found that students who do internships while attending school receive jobs at a much higher rate and with larger salaries.

Internships are a great way for businesses to see if the person is a good fit for the company-and at the same time, the student learns and grows.

But one internship doesn’t always pave the way for a successful future after graduation.

I have another friend who graduated last December from the U, and she’s still jobless-regardless of the fact that she completed an internship with a public relations firm during the summer.

Businesses just tell her they want their employees to have more experience.

This is why students need to concentrate on diversifying their education by participating in extracurricular activities as well as excelling in the classroom.

Whether it’s working for student government, writing for The Chronicle, holding an office in a fraternity or sorority, or working in an office on campus, jobs and leadership positions can simulate real-world experience. These sorts of rsum lines prove to employers that the student can balance the ivory tower and the real world.

Although such activities might not pay as much as being a server at a restaurant, they look better on a rsum and lead to letters of recommendation.

But if that doesn’t work out, you can always focus on a BYU-esque goal: marrying someone whose parents are frickin’ loaded.

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