Employers are looking for well balanced individuals who can articulate their worth using a variety of experiences to highlight and explain their credentials and knowledge. College is a great opportunity for personal exploration and development. Take advantage of the opportunities available to you now to set yourself on a path of personal success and development. You can give yourself the best competitive advantage possible by having both a breadth and depth of experience during your college career.
Many events are free and many more are accessible at a reduced rate with your student ID. Go! Athletic events, music ensembles, speaker series, student organization meetings, comedians, bands, and more. They are all there for the taking – probably more than you could ever attend if you take the time to look around. Attend events and activities that appeal to you, and also those events that work with your schedule but that you might not normally consider. Exposing yourself to the wide array of experiences available to you will help develop the breadth of exposure that employers are looking for in the candidates they pursue.
Once you start attending more events, it will be time to take your attendance to the next level and get engaged. Some ideas include joining a student organization committee, offering your ideas in group, or asking a question during a speaker’s open forum. Don’t just attend the event- start to participate in the conversations that take place.
As your level of engagement continues, your next step is to take on leadership roles. This does not necessarily mean you need a titled position (president, vice president, chair, etc). What is does mean is that you need to take on a responsibility role in the success of a group of people or event.
No leadership roles? Then you need to expand your depth of involvement and start working your way along the continuum from participation to leading.
Do you lead everything? Perhaps you need to expand your breadth of experience and exposure to other opportunities on campus.
Are you wallowing in the middle? Make a commitment to put yourself out there and engage at a different level.
What do you think? Make it a good day.
Mike Severy is the Director of Student Life at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He views his work through the lens of student leadership development believing that students are developed over time through a series of meaningful experiences and that his role is to help students create and find the meaningful experiences in their lives. You can connect with Mike on Twitter (@MikeSevery).