When you search the word “university student” on famous portal sites, you can find easily the related-word: university student’s outside activity. There are even many internet café and sites having the latest recruit notices and successful interview tips for outside activities. The famous outside activity site has three millions of university student members. Statistically, it means one out of every 5 university students gets the information from the site. Also, according to the survey of university students, 6 out of 10 people answered ‘I have outside activity experience’. Now, the outside activity has become crucial interests for ordinary students during their college life. Why are university students enthusiastic about outside activity? Most of them are seeking for outside activities to get out of boring school life, explore their career, and make spec which helps their impending employment. Following this trend, outside activities like contests, marketer, public ambassador, supporter, and voluntary work spring up everywhere and attract students' passion, with the emphasis on 'new experience'. However, the students who have rushed into the outside activities without the purpose would have only bitter experiences. In Cover story, I'm going to talk about the hidden side of outside activities manipulating university students' passion.
What is the outside activity?
The outside activity is the ideal activity of student that the major private enterprises or public enterprises provides students with actual experiences or tasks and give additional benefits to outstanding students who intend to apply as intern. There are many kinds of outside activities. It is mainly divided into supporter activity and contest exhibit. The supporter activity refers to the activity which is to promote and market constantly in one company or institution for six months or one year. Recently, as the influences of SNS(social network service) and personal blog get powerful, "Supporters activities" which is media-oriented promoting activities is catching on. Now, there are a lot of supporter activities not only of enterprise and university but also of promoting national culture and tradition. Also, various institutions host the contest exhibits inviting university students' plentiful creativity. The type of the contest is also becoming diverse from UCC to thesis.
Why are people crazed with outside activity?
"University students, who have passion and vigor, get together! ○○○ marketer", "The challenge of the youth for tomorrow! △△ supporters are waiting for you having extraordinary passion". You would see these outside activities recruitment ceaselessly. These recruitments are so stimulating to university students who don't know what they have to do first after they escape their monotonous campus life.
There are five specs for employment, which are educational background, grade, certification, TOEIC score, and abroad language training. However, recent trend of employment stresses job experiences like award winning career, internship, voluntary work, etc. Now, only studying hard in school is not enough to compete with others. The enterprises releasing 2014's recruitment plan puts an emphasis on hiring experienced workers. Among the major enterprises, 'Samsung' announced that they would renovate the recruitment system this year. The main point is what they actually did to be employed in the area which they want to work in, rather than focusing on grade and TOEIC score. Therefore, outside activities became essential to employment.
Outside activity for one line of 'Spec'
Most students participate in outside activities to build their spec up and to get benefits when they enter the enterprise they want. However, sometimes outside activities end up in being fruitless. If you do outside activities to get a job or write down only one line of experience on the resume, it is a definitely wrong idea. Experts said university students' indiscriminate outside activities just for getting employed could be ineffective. Namely, in discreet outside activities could hinder employment as well as effective activity.
Was I manipulated....?
As the marketing activities using university students turn out to be effective, a lot of enterprises and institutions begin to enter the market using university students by making numerous outside activities. And university students devote their effort and time to outside activities. However, this is unfair phenomenon from economic viewpoint. Students sacrifice their efforts and time to off-line meetings, on-line news, on-the-scene reports more than university classes. Nevertheless, the reward of their laborious efforts is poor. They get only a little money and one line of spec. The enterprises insist that they will support material reward to outstanding student. But student who receives such reward is just a small portion of whole students, so supporters’ activities of enterprises are inevitably criticized for abusing student labor forces.
In addition, there is a copyright issue. These days, while one music producer earns a billion won from the royalty, university students' copyright isn't protected. It is because as soon as students apply for the contest exhibition for employment, their copyrights are handed over to the organizer. Some prize winners might receive reward, but in case of a small contest, the prize money is not even the half of the school tuition. According to the 2nd clause of article 10 of the copyright law, 'The copyright take effects automatically when a person creates a work and in principle it belongs to the creator'. However, many contest exhibitions don't accept creator's right using the guidance saying 'Every right(copyright and using right) of submitted works belong to our company.'
Our society still borrows 'passion'
According to the students who have experiences of outside activities, the biggest problems of the activities are that they do the activities not related with what the poster says, and that the practical expriences and results are not satisfactory enough to make up for the time and effort they invested. Moreoever, there are a lot of 'selling experience' of enterprises which exploit university students’ psychology eager for ‘new experiences.’Recently lots of mediascast light upon the students whose labor being explioted at cheap price and the students who’ve become slavesof spec.Even though enterprises and institutions’ outside activities provide students with good opportunities, the society srtucture that borrows university students’‘passion’ not only for communicating with them, but also for the potential marketing and ideas is not changing. Also, it is our harsh reality that students devote their passion to 'new experience' for filling in their resume and unstable future.
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Nevertheless, there are some merits of outside activity such as meeting various friends and hands-on workers. You can have more extensive thoughts through communicating with other majors and experience actual tasks with hands-on workers. In addition, it is a good chance to accumulate business experiences. You can experience the work indirectly through the team project, and you can also experience project management through making presentations, meetings with team members, and giving speeches in front of public. It makes university students to adapt easily to new environment when they are employed in the company. Furthermore, it helps to decide the career. It could be a chance to know what career, what company fits you through the various experiences. To put these advantages to good use, three things are required: students' proper attitudes, enterprises' efforts, government's institutional strategies.
First, university students have to find outside activity that is suitable to them. As mentioned before, there are so many kinds of outside activity. Therefore, it is important to choose the activity that fits you. The most important thing you have to consider is your aptitude. If you participate in the activity which is not right for your aptitude or interest, with only considering your spec, you wouldn’t be able to make good results. Next, you must have a clear sense of purpose and an achievement need. You have to focus on your own ability and self-improvement which can be gained through outside activities rather than having a vague hope.
As for the enterprises managing outside activities, they have to ensure definite curriculum and material rewards. If they provide a variety of working opportunities and fair rewards, without regarding them as mere means of marketing, not only could they induce students' active participations but also attain successful marketing outcome. The government should make sure that students can show their creativity and ideas freely. Also they have to institutionally protect students from every unfair situation that can occur during the activity.
Outside activity is a privilege that only university students can have. It is a privilege to experience many things related to students’ own interests. Plus they also can meet many people. Will you use this privilege just as a mere tool for employment? When you have a purpose to do outside activity, you need to consider whether it can be a spec for ‘me’, not for a resume. Don't be afraid that you don’t have enough spec. Now, why don’t we experience real outside activity that’ll disclose your hidden talent through taking your initiative in a field which attracts you? The real beauty of outside activity lies in challenging it with passion and earning your own satisfactory results.