students at an eventGetting involved is a great way to meet others and feel more at home on campus. But did you know that getting involved can also help you prepare for life after graduation? Whether it’s through a student group, volunteering or having a part-time job, getting involved can enhance your college experience and help you get ready for future careers. Here are some tips for making the most of your involvement on campus.

Make connections

Many alumni look back on their time here with fondness for the connections they made. The people you meet and connect with can lead to some of your greatest memories. This can include new friends and roommates, supervisors, intramural or sports club teammates, classmates and people you meet in a student organization.

As you get involved, do your best to stay in touch with those you meet during and after college. These connections can lead to an expanded network of colleagues and opportunities down the road.

Discover and build your strengths

What you gain from your experiences outside the classroom can enhance the skills and knowledge you are learning in the classroom. Knowing your strengths can help you learn and grow from these experiences.

The CliftonStrengths assessment helps you discover your strengths and how to build on them in everyday situations. By meeting with a strengths peer coach, you can get a deeper understanding of your strengths and learn what involvement opportunities may be a good fit for you. If you haven’t taken the assessment, visit the CliftonStrengths website to find out how to get started.

Gain experience

How you get involved can demonstrate commitment, initiative and collaborative skills. These experiences can add depth to your resume and LinkedIn profile. As you get involved, look for opportunities to gain more experience for job and internship applications. This could be joining a sports team or student organization, taking on a leadership role or asking for more responsibility at work.

Your experiences will also give you great stories to share during your interview. For example, an interviewer might ask how you manage conflict. You could talk about a time when there was an issue in your student organization. You could share how you brought people together, facilitated a conversation and found common ground.

Develop professional skills

Research has shown that students with commitments outside of class tend to do better than those who only focus on class. Plus, these commitments can help develop professional skills you can use in any industry – skills like time management, communication and adaptability. Get in the habit of scheduling out your week to help balance school, work and other commitments.

Remember – career development advisors are here for you! We’d love to talk with you about getting involved, your academic plans and what you may be thinking about doing afterward. Stop by our drop-in hours Monday - Thursday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., or make an appointment through Handshake