There are a number of ways while on campus for you to gain experience and develop skills valued by employers, graduate school programs and fellowships. These opportunities will also help you to develop a stronger understanding of your interests and connect you with many of the amazing people who make up the Oberlin community!
Community service work can be something you do as an individual, or something you do because a organization to which you belong takes on a service project. Not only is it a great way to give back to the community, but it also develops skills and experience that you can list on your resume and apply towards a future opportunity. Vist the Bonner Center for Service and Learning to learn more about community service through Oberlin.
Participating in undergraduate research is particularly important for students interested in pursuing graduate degrees or research assistant positions upon graduation.
The Office of Undergraduate Research provides students with two fellowship opportunities: the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the Oberlin College Research Fellowship. Students may also seek research opportunities, for payment or credit, in their major by way of their department or program chair.
Dozens of courses in the natural sciences and mathematics division entail conducting lab research and fieldwork. In many disciplines, in the form of senior honors, students are able to pursue individual research projects. There are also many courses in the divisions of the arts and humanities and social sciences that involve fieldwork and research opportunities. Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research for more information on research opportunities through Oberlin.
Oberlin College and the Conservatory of Music sponsor approximately 500 concerts on campus each year, including recitals and concerts by the more than 25 student ensembles. These ensembles provide an excellent opportunity to refine your performance skills and gain experience performing within a group.
On-campus jobs can be important ways to get experience; a job does not have to be labeled as an internship to be valuable. What's important are the job's relevance to your career field, the skills you develop, and the level of responsibility you earn. Opportunities are posted on the Oberlin Classifieds webpage, but you are encouraged to also reach out to offices that are of interest to you.
There are more than 150 official student organizations on campus that actively engage in interests ranging from politics and the environment to swing dance and ultimate frisbee. Leadership in student and community organizations is viewed very favorably by employers and is sometimes considered an essential qualification for certain types of work and career paths. You don't have to be president to be a leader. You could be the volunteer recruiter, the fundraising chair, or an event planner. The important things are what you accomplish and the skills you use and develop.