With all due respect to my fantastic experience in the classroom, I can’t credit all of my education to hours in lectures, nights of studying or meetings with peers and professors. What’s accelerated my education and provided me with the tools to develop a career plan was my extended learning outside the classroom.
During an interview with Congressman Will Hurd, I asked about his education. What was it that propelled a 20-something San Antonian into the CIA and ultimately into Washington?
Now, as a ‘Runner, I can only pardon his school choice, for times were different in Hurd’s youth. Our young university wasn’t as grand as it is now. Hurd took his San Antonian talent to the dusty trail— College Station.
Hurd shared a nugget of information that I can agree with, despite our academic differences. His alma mater, Texas A&M, advocates what they call, “The Other Education.” activities designed to make students well-rounded and “moral, ethical people.” His stint in student government prepared him for a career in the U.S. government; that was his “Other Education.” My time at the Paisano is preparing me for law school; that’s my “Other Education.”
“Other Education” is as diverse as the populace at UTSA. Organizations, activities, jobs and student engagement are all forms of “The Other Education,” and each one pushes students a little further along their path to a well-rounded education.
Showing up to class, knocking out homework, passing tests… it’s a given. None of it will raise eyebrows. What will really knock potential employers off their chairs is experience that not only prepares a student but also says a thing or two about them.
My advice is to let curiosity be your guide and boldness be your choice. As a relatively reserved person, I can understand the challenge of putting yourself out there. Organizations are established, members have their cliques, workplaces follow a system and programs know their talent, but they all have one thing in common—they are hungry for active and interested members.
If a student has the effort and the intrigue, he or she is an asset. So invest in your “Other Education;” invest in your university experience. You may find yourself on the road to becoming the well-rounded, moral and ethical Roadrunner bound for success.