As I transition into my role at the Hofstra Career Center, I cannot help but reminisce on my journey of how I got here. Like most students, I went to college to learn and get a degree which would help me with my future. The college experience is different from being in high school because you are able to learn and grow in ways that you did not imagine, both in and outside of the classroom. The expectation is that you will make friends, study all night, and graduate from the best years of your life. However, what I learned was that the most influential part of my college experience, one that no one clued me in on, was getting involved on campus.
The best aspect of getting involved is that it plays an important role in your career development. Here are a few ways getting involved on campus can do that:
· Discovering a career path: Whether you already know what you want to do or if you are still searching, being involved can play a role. Join clubs, organizations, honor societies, or get involved in an office on campus, you never know where it can lead you.
· Networking: Being in college is a time to open your horizons, meet others that share your interests and background, as well as those who don’t. Involvement in different offices on campus, clubs, and organization helps you build a diverse network of people that are either professionals or will be in a few short years. Plus, you never know who they may know or bring in as guest speakers.
· Learning how to work with others: Being involved means you will most likely work with others. Working in groups outside of the classroom can teach skills that group projects in the classroom cannot: how to reach a common goal that is not for a grade. Collaboration, compromise, and flexibility are just a few of the skills that will be important for your future job.
· Leadership Development: Being able to hold leadership positions teaches you effective ways to manage and work with others. It can also help with your self-esteem and public speaking skills. Employers want to hire students that take initiative, are well rounded and show they can bring the company forward. These are skills you can develop or enhance in a leadership role.
· Diversifying Experience: Having a wide range of interests and experiences shows that you are adaptable and can work well in different environments. Companies want more well-rounded candidates because it brings innovative ideas to the table.
· Feeling Connected: Getting involved on campus brings a sense of connectedness and loyalty to the college you attend. Studies show that students who feel more connected to their college are more successful both academically and on their jobs after graduation.
· Being in the know with opportunities: Knowing people on campus means that you are in the know of important opportunities on campus. Whether it is a job fair, or a one on one with a CEO that wants to give back to their alma mater, being involved means you will hear about these opportunities first hand.
AND BEST OF ALL…
It is a sure-fire resume builder: As a college student who may or may not have a lot of professional experience, being involved in campus adds depth and skills to your resume. Employers want to see leadership, initiative, and teamwork. Who better than a students made the most out of their college experience.
SO… Join a club, or organization, get involved in the student leadership office by being an orientation leader, join student government, a Greek letter organization, or find a on campus position in any of the offices. Whatever it is that interests you on campus GO FORTH IN YOUR CAREER PATH.
Sabeen Sheikh, MHC
Career Advisor | Career Center