Live in your mom’s basement or actually succeed

“A trash can isn’t where you want to end up.” Photo by Steve Johnson used under Creative Commons license.

Beth Gray, Guest Writer

A trash can isn’t where you want to be. And if your résumé isn’t padded to the hilt, that will most likely be your fate—another name chucked into a bin by a curmudgeonly Human Resources manager. Trust me, I know from experience.

At the end of my sophomore year at SNU, I realized I wasn’t involved in any scholastic organizations. I thought I’ll apply next year. Besides, after college no one will care if I was involved or not. Wrong. Businesses take your academic prowess into consideration.

As a person on the brink of applying for a doctoral program and less than a year away from getting married, I desperately need job security. By “job security” I’m not referring to a part-time position at the GAP—which, by the way, is fine—but I’m talking about the kind of job security that allows for annual salary and benefits.

In an effort to make my résumé more competitive I joined five various honor societies. None have proved as helpful to me as Mortar Board. The beauty of Mortar Board rests in its universal notoriety; it’s a nation-wide senior honor society whose name is immediately recognized.

During my final interview for a position I coveted based on the job security it provided, a position I now possess, the interviewing staff member looked at my résumé and said, “Oh, I know Mortar Board,” he paused slightly, “Congratulations.”

Essentially, when you have academic societies on your résumé, you are conveying winsome information about yourself to potential employers. Take for instance a fellow Mortar Board member, senior Emily Sloan. Emily is in a handful of honor societies, several of which specifically relate to her preferred field of employment: counseling.

Although Mortar Board isn’t necessarily a society for psychology students, Emily explained why she joined the organization: “I am very excited about the opportunities Mortar Board offers, specifically the opportunities relating to graduate school scholarships.”

Mortar Board rewards hard-working students by offering aid to their future academic endeavors. However, even if you aren’t interested in pursuing graduate school, Mortar Board indicates to employers that you have a brilliant work ethic.

Now its time to talk about applying for Mortar Board! Each Mortar Board chapter has different admission standards. Southern Nazarene University’s chapter accepts students with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Regardless of your certainty that you meet the criteria, apply!

Mortar Board gives discretion to individual chapters in terms of choosing new members. If your application shows exceptional leadership or service skills, this information will be taken into consideration.

Don’t be the person who graduates college and ends up in their mom’s basement while holding down a job at the GAP—which, by the way, really is fine—be the person who takes life by the horns. Apply now, juniors!

To apply or learn more about Mortar Board, contact Amy Longnecker at