students sitting outsideYou’ll develop many professional skills during your time at CU, and not just in your classes. How you get involved on campus can indicate a number of things to future employers. Getting involved shows commitment and helps you learn foundational skills. These skills are relevant to any job, in any industry. And they are often the skills that most employers seek in potential candidates. 

Building these skills now can help you become a strong candidate for any position you pursue later. Here are a few ways to start developing these essential skills this year. 

Student organizations

Many student organizations have roles and positions for students to fill. These can include roles in leadership positions, event planning, marketing and more. Taking on these roles can help you build foundational skills and experience for your resume.

  • Develop communication skills by running meetings.
  • Build integrity and responsibility skills by taking lead on a project and holding yourself accountable.
  • Work on leadership skills by running for president of your organization.
  • Expand your creativity skills by coming up with new event ideas.

If you’re already part of a student group, consider new roles and duties you could take on. Think of the specific skills you’d like to develop, and different ways to do that within your organization.

If you’re looking for a student group to join, browse BuffConnect or visit the Center for Student Involvement (CSI). If you can’t find a group that matches your interests, consider starting one of your own

Service opportunities

Volunteering is a great way to get involved, both on campus or in your local area. Not only can you meet new people, but you can use your strengths to support a cause you care about and learn new skills. 

  • Work on career and self-development skills by volunteering at a place in your career field of interest. 
  • Develop teamwork skills by working with other volunteers to achieve a shared goal.
  • Build equity and inclusion skills by learning from people with diverse identities and backgrounds.

When it comes to volunteering, there’s something for everyone. From working with animals to politics to the environment, there are options to match your interests and schedule. Connect with the Volunteer Resource Center (VRC) to learn more.

Leadership programs

In addition to leadership roles in student organizations, there are programs that allow you to develop leadership skills. Consider joining the Journey Leader or CU GOLD programs this year.

  • Journey Leaders are a diverse team of students who welcome new students and families to campus. As a Journey Leader, you’ll develop communication and teamwork skills. Apply for the Journey Leader program by Nov. 1, 2021.
  • CU GOLD provides free leadership development to all students. Students can attend the free half-day LEAD program to learn how to lead in difficult times and ways to put this knowledge into practice.

Part-time jobs or internships

Aside from earning money, part-time jobs and internships offer other benefits. They help you build your professional network, develop a variety of skills and gain experience for your resume.

  • Work on problem-solving skills by coming up with solutions for unexpected challenges.
  • Develop communication skills by writing appropriate and professional emails.
  • Learn how to leverage data by making suggestions based on customer feedback at your part-time job.
  • Expand your technology skills by learning to use new technology at your internship.

Most on-campus jobs offer scheduling that can fit around your class and study schedule. Many internships are about 10-20 hours a week, so you can usually fit one in between classes. You can also look for a full-time summer internship, which is often paid. Browse Handshake to find internship opportunities. 

Learn more about developing essential skills through the Skills for Success program. Career advisors are available from 1-3 p.m. on Thursdays in the Skills for Success Lab to help you plan how you’ll build the skills you need for your future career.