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Mastering the Unspoken Curriculum: How ALD Provides the Opportunities Needed to Launch Your Future Career By Dr. Travis Martin, Eastern Kentucky University

As a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, you excelled in what is regarded by most to be the toughest semester of college: the first. Clearly, you’re good at schoolwork, time management, and challenging transitions. No doubt, you’ll walk across a graduation stage and into the job market in just a few short years. I know your type. I’m an ALD Chapter Advisor, and I teach between 100-200 freshmen every year. Good grades may come naturally to you. So, frame your initiation certificate. Wear your regalia with pride. But keep in mind: the greatest benefit of becoming a member of this organization isn’t the honor cord; it’s the opportunity to gain real-world experience, build your professional network, and develop the habit of serving your community. College professionals refer to these opportunities as a “co-curricular education.” I tell my students, “You can leave college with a degree. Or, you can leave college with an education.” But what’s the difference? A degree is a piece of paper that says you earned enough passing grades to be credentialed by an institution as competent in your field. It is basically your school’s way of saying, “We have faith in this student’s knowledge and abilities.” A degree is a good thing to have. But it is not the same as an education. An education encompasses a degree but also includes skills, experiences, attitudes, and motivations. Your education isn’t about what you’ve accomplished in the past. It’s not some piece of paper you hang on a wall. Rather, an education refers to your character and those tangible acts you can perform in the present. Life’s a rollercoaster. Your degree is your ticket to get on the ride. Your education is your ability to hold on—at least, this analogy is how I motivate students to leave their dorm rooms, get out into the real world, and gain experience. Alpha Lambda Delta

When you joined ALD, you joined the nation’s preeminent honor society for first-year success. You joined an organization with more than 280 chapters. You are one of more than one million students initiated since the organization’s founding in 1924. You’d be wise to list your ALD membership and any positions you’ve held on your resume. But you’d be better served by coming up with an answer to this question: “What skills did you develop during your involvement with Alpha Lambda Delta?” Across the nation, ALD chapters are engaged in acts of service. They’re cleaning up the environment. They’re feeding the homeless. They’re supporting survivors of domestic violence, natural disasters, and disease. They’re making a difference. Engaged members actively develop “hard skills” like planning, problem solving, budgeting, and risk management. They develop “soft skills” like communicating ideas, resolving conflicts, and understanding the needs of others—empathy. They learn to lead. Someday you’ll do your first job search. Read the responsibilities of each position carefully. Identify the skills required to perform each responsibility. Articulate how you developed these skills before you 12

The Flame

Profile for Alpha Lambda Delta

Alpha Lambda Delta 2020 Flame Magazine  

The Flame is Alpha Lambda Delta's annual magazine. It highlights the individual and chapter accomplishments of the previous year. Founded in...

Alpha Lambda Delta 2020 Flame Magazine  

The Flame is Alpha Lambda Delta's annual magazine. It highlights the individual and chapter accomplishments of the previous year. Founded in...

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