The real weight of a 4.0

Shelby Tankersley, Staff Reporter

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The almighty 4.0: glorious and virtually unattainable. Student Congress has been working to make it easier to attain, causing dedicated students all over OU to breathe a sigh of relief.

Certainly flawless grades will make life after college easier, right? Or are internships and jobs more important? Maybe having perfect grades isn’t the best way to get ahead.

Our futures may include internships, grad school and real jobs. College students across the country are trying to figure out the best way to make those things into a reality. The challenge now is figuring how much our grades play into our futures.

Internships

These normally happen while we’re still in school, so grades do play a part. Brian Hlavaty, the internship director for journalism and communication, said that in his experience, most employers will look for at least a 3.0 from a student.

“They will look at your grade point average,” Hlavaty said. “They’re going to look at what you’ve been involved in on campus and what jobs you’ve had, too.”

Hlavaty added that leadership positions, campus jobs and even jobs outside of your major focus will look good when applying for an internship. He said that grades are one factor among many.

“I wouldn’t stress so much about having a four point,” Hlavaty said. “As soon as you get your first job, nobody will ask about what your grade point was. They’re going to care about how you did at your last job. But, good grades are important at the start.”

Grad School

Grad schools look at GPA as well. But, like with internships, it is one factor among many.

Erin Worman, a senior who will be attending grad school at OU for physical therapy, said that OU looked at much more than just her grades when she applied.

“A lot of what they looked for from PT was my observation hours, extracurricular activities and volunteer experience,” Worman said. “Grades were a big part, too.”

Worman said that when she was getting ready to apply for grad school, she put a lot of stress on herself to get exceptional grades. She said that while it motivated her to do well, she probably didn’t need to stress as much as she did.

“I wouldn’t worry so much about having a four point,” Worman said. “High three points look good.”

She said that her advice is to get involved on campus and have some experience, because it’s important to be able to work well with others.

Careers

A real-world job will look at experience and leadership above all else. GPA is a factor, but they will want to see what prospective employees have already done.

“Employers want to know what you’ve done while you were in school,” Carol Ketelsen, a career consultant with Career Services, said. “They want to know if you worked, even if it’s not related to your major, and if you’ve been involved in student activities. Then they’re able to see that you can multitask.”

Ketelsen stressed that a student who has a GPA in the three-point range and has had leadership positions and jobs is really marketable going into a first job. Being able to have a job and still do well in school looks good on a résumé.

“GPA might slip a little while having a job or an internship, but most students at Oakland work and do school already,” Ketelsen said. “I wouldn’t worry about that too much. Employers will want to know what you’ve done while you’re here. That part is important.”