Attending university is one of the stops on the way to establishing a career. Coincidentally, the activities you participate in and the organizations you join can have an impact on your next steps. Therefore, if you’re thinking about ways to expand your horizons while at school, consider writing for the student newspaper. According to student Jenna Colaco, getting involved with the student newspaper helped hone her skills as a writer, gain experience, and build her confidence. Here are 10 reasons to work for a student newspaper, which might help launch your career, or prepare you for your future.

1. Gain valuable experience

It probably goes without saying that a student newspaper is a great place to sharpen your writing skills. However, it’s also an opportunity for so much more. Student newspaper reporters get the opportunity to connect, network, and work on their interpersonal skills by interviewing subjects. Additionally, if writing isn’t your jam, there’s other opportunities to explore, such as editing, layout, and design. Working on a large team, meeting deadlines, and learning how to compromise are all critical skills that will benefit you later in life.

2. Gain work experience and build your portfolio

Whether or not you want to go into journalism, working on the student newspaper offers excellent work experience. You’ll be expected to adhere to work hours, turn in copy on time, and learn how to manage constructive criticism. You can also explore the business side of things, or delve into editorial work. For those interested in a career in writing, journalism, or communications, this is a prime opportunity to build your resume and portfolio. 

3. Learn to write

Writing is a skill that takes time to grow and develop. If you’d like to enhance your writing skills, spending time on the school newspaper will provide plenty of opportunities to do so. You’ll also have chances to work on research, and can dip into editing, which will help you turn a more critical eye on your own writing.

4. Take on responsibility

When you join the newspaper, you’re going to be counted upon to turn in assignments on a regular basis. Therefore, you’ll learn how to work under pressure, turn in an assignment on time, and take criticism of your work from your peers. Ultimately, this will prepare you for handling a fast-paced work environment after leaving school.

5. Learn time management

Time management is something many college students struggle with, and working on a paper can help. Since you’ll have regular deadlines that aren’t negotiable, you’ll learn how to properly manage your time to get everything done quickly and efficiently.

6. The newsroom is fun

Who doesn’t want to work in a fun environment? The newsroom is always busy, with lots of people, ideas, and conversations happening. Friendships are forged, advice is given, and memories are made. If you’re looking for someplace on campus to make your own, the newsroom might just be it.

7. Make great friends

According to The De Pauw, connecting with the student newspaper on your campus gives you an in with a group of “motivated, hardworking and passionate writers who believe in producing trusted news and creative content.” You’ll be spending a lot of time together, and those hours spent pouring over layout design, or thinking up a catchy lead can lead to long-lasting friendships with people working towards a common goal.

8. It looks great on a resume

When it comes time to find a summer job or internship, having work experience with your school newspaper looks great on a resume. Employers will see that not only do you have experience in the journalism field, you’re hardworking, able to stick to a deadline, have good people skills, can think on your feet, and you know how to take feedback. All of these things are attractive to potential employers.

9. Build connections on campus

As a student newspaper reporter, you’re going to work closely with people all across campus, as well as in the local community. This will give you a front-row seat to developing connections with faculty, staff, and other key stakeholders. Therefore, you’re going to be able to call upon these people when you need a quote, or information for an article.

10. Learn about your campus

Many students go throughout their education without really knowing the underpinnings of their campus. By working on the student newspaper, you’ll have the chance to really get to know the campus, from the offices, those who work on campus, and how the university interacts with the local community.

Working on the student newspaper has a lot of amazing benefits. You’ll meet a group of like-minded people who are sure to become your friends (as well as friends and contacts around campus), gain experience that will  help make you a great candidate for whatever comes next after university, and part of an organization that helps keep others informed and entertained.