Experience Matters: How to Turn Classroom Learning into Workplace Skills


By DeVry University

September 14, 2021
3 min read

As a student you’re learning new and interesting things every day. These experiences in the classroom help prepare you to take on more complex projects in your classwork, but when do you get to put this new-found knowledge to the test? Rather than waiting for graduation, why not put what you’re learning into practice today?

Here are just a few ways you can leverage your learning outside the classroom:

  • Internships
    Internships are a powerful way to put what you’re studying into practice in a real work environment, and you get the opportunity to test out an industry you’re interested in – without a long-term commitment. You’ll use soft skills you’re perfecting in the classroom like teamwork, problem solving, communication, time management and responsibility, while exploring a career path that aligns with your coursework and getting valuable work experience to add to your résumé. And speaking of resume, our dedicated DeVry University career services staff can help provide valuable feedback to help you stand out to potential employers.

  • Micro-Internships
    Another way to gain some real-world experience as a student is through micro-internships. These are short-term opportunities for students and alumni to connect with companies that need help with extra work. Projects are completed remotely, many in just a few days, and participants are paid for their time. Micro-internships, like traditional internships, also offer you the chance to build your network by getting your foot in the door of an organization or company you admire.

  • Volunteer
    Community service projects offer an excellent opportunity to apply your classroom learning to practical situations in the real world while giving back and doing good. Volunteering lets you explore something you’re passionate about, build your confidence, network and your résumé all at the same time.

  • Part-Time or Full Time Work
    Perhaps you are working while going to school. Consider asking your manager about participating in a stretch assignment. Stretch assignments are additional voluntary projects or tasks outside of your current knowledge base that can help you increase your effectiveness and add skills and real-world experience to your résumé. These projects can help you make important decisions about what you enjoy working on (and what you don’t), which can help with your job search in the future.

Leverage Your Hard and Soft Skills

Today’s workforce requires more than just technical know-how. A prospective employer wants to be confident in your ability to work well with your fellow employees, to take initiative and manage your time and tasks effectively. These are known as soft skills, which can be harder to define and measure. They include interpersonal skills associated with one’s character, emotional intelligence and collaboration with others. Hard skills can be categorized as the quantifiable, measurable competencies - like a software developer who learns to write code. The best way to deliver value in your career is through a combination of both.

Internship Week 2021

Current students and graduates are invited to join us for Experience Matters! Internship Week 2021 for a variety of virtual events designed to help you identify types of internship opportunities and connect with thought leaders, job search experts and hiring authorities from various industries. Following Internship Week, DeVry University will be hosting a National Internship Fair on Wednesday, September 29th from 1 pm to 3 pm CT.

Ready to Put What You’ve Learned into Practice?

You don’t need to wait until graduation to start achieving your professional goals. No matter where you are in your studies or job search, DeVry’s Career Services has the resources to help – including career advisors and résumé writers, networking opportunities, internships and job leads.

Our Career Services Advisors are here to help guide you with their industry expertise and connections to opportunities and employer-partners we trust -all these resources are included in the cost of your tuition and accessible the moment you begin your first course as a student at DeVry.

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