Organizations, sports and clubs aren’t just for highschool students and college applications. College students can prepare for their future careers by engaging in the right extracurriculars while getting their degree.
Since coursework can often feel all-consuming, it’s important to prioritize extracurriculars in college that will truly pay off. With these university extras under their belt, students can prepare themselves for success during the job hunt and gain skills they’ll use in the workforce.
The Benefits of College Extracurriculars
Being involved at school outside of classes can bolster a student’s resume, according to The Journal of Education and Work. Hiring managers may look closely at academics, but extracurriculars can help them make assumptions about characteristics difficult to gauge during an interview, like social skills and time management.
Students who are able to step into leadership roles within clubs or organizations glean the most benefits from extracurriculars during the job hunt. Additionally, college students can build skills through extracurriculars that may improve their income, career satisfaction and career growth.
The Best College Extracurriculars
Which clubs and organizations give students the upper hand? While the benefits vary between different types of extracurriculars, these choices may also help students long after graduating:
1Volunteering is associated with increased prestige in a student’s future career, or a better chance of moving into cooler positions where they work. Many students are able to enrich their resumes and themselves by helping out at local hospitals, participating in wildlife conservation, heading abroad or participating in sexual health and safety education on campus.
2 Joining academic study clubs, especially in arts, literacy, or specific areas of study, make students more satisfied with their careers in the long run. Many schools have student-facilitated groups for practicing and playing instruments, studying together and organizing book clubs.
3Participating in niche associations can really come in handy for networking when it’s time to look for work. For some students, this might look like making connections in a dental association or building strong relationships within an organization for people of color. Some of these connections can also become referrals for jobs after graduation.
4Joining special organizations, especially those that provide students the chance to build skills or add to a professional portfolio, also helps. Students who want to become journalists can graduate with clips by joining the school or local newspaper. Marketing majors with a love of the arts might ask to be responsible for spreading the word about performances on and off campus.
5Greek life and sports clubs benefit students in the long run. Some employers may associate these activities with lower grades and risky behavior, while others see these as opportunities to build skills that can be used in the workplace. Use them judiciously and be mindful of how you get involved.
Academic performance should be a high priority in college, but striving for even more can say a lot about you as a potential employee. Getting involved at school outside of classes is an enjoyable way to build relationships and prepare for life after graduation. It may also be that final determining factor that gets you the job you’ve always wanted.