Published: Nov. 9, 2023

Journey LeaderWhile you are learning professional skills in the courses you take, you can also develop skills during your time at CU Boulder through the activities you pursue. Class projects, on-campus jobs, intramural sports and more allow you to expand your skill set. Plus, you can use these experiences as examples on your resume or during job interviews. 

Foundational skills are especially valuable and can set you apart from others in the roles you pursue, whether you are looking for a job, applying for graduate school or running for a leadership position. These are transferable skills that are relevant in a wide variety of roles. While you will naturally develop many of these skills as part of your college journey, you can also intentionally take steps to hone these skills. 

Here are a few ideas for how you can develop foundational skills. 

Apply for an on-campus job 

Working on campus offers a convenient way to gain experience and build skills. Most on-campus jobs provide students the flexibility to work around their academic schedules. Some student positions offer experience related to a major or desired career, like graphic design or research assistant. However, even unrelated jobs, like working in a dining center or driving for CU NightRide, can build foundational skills. You can strengthen your communication, problem-solving and responsibility skills. 

Be part of a team 

You have many opportunities to be part of a team while at CU Boulder. You can take the obvious option, like joining an intramural sport or sport club team. But, if sports aren’t your thing, you can still develop teamwork skills. Try something different. For example, Alternative Breaks offers students a chance to work with a team of other volunteers to complete a service project over a school break. Working with others on a common goal builds teamwork and develops critical thinking and creativity. 

Seek opportunities for inclusivity 

Developing a mindset of equity and inclusion can prevent harm, demonstrate openness and foster environments that include all people, especially those who are disadvantaged, have suffered discrimination or are living with disabilities. You can choose opportunities that cultivate the skills of equity and inclusion. Explore events and programs at the Dennis Small Cultural Center and Center for Inclusion and Social Change. You can also support the Basic Needs Center by volunteering or organizing a food drive. By connecting with people and learning about their experiences, you can gain empathy and understand how to apply equity and inclusion in future roles. 

Take on leadership roles 

You have many opportunities to be a leader as a student. You can join a student organization and volunteer for a leadership role. You can also join a leadership program, like CU GOLD, Dean of Students Leadership and Values Council, Residence Hall Association or other campus leadership programs. Also, leadership skills apply to more than formal leadership positions. You can use leadership skills to motivate team members or drive organizational change.  

Attend workshops and events 

You can expand your knowledge, learn about innovations and explore many new ideas by attending events and workshops on campus. From Career Services workshops that help you hone your job search skills to Health Promotion programs and training that teach resilience and self-care, you can develop new skill sets to carry through life. Self-development is a skill that helps you embrace challenges and understand how to take advantage of opportunities to grow in your career. 


Connect to resources 

Career Services offers resources to support skill development, including MySkills resources. You can attend a MySkills workshop or request a job or industry report. If you’d like to learn more about skill development, you can also meet with Career Services

Check out more ways to get involved from the Division of Student Affairs. Stay connected to campus events by downloading the CU Boulder Life app or following @CUBoulderLife on Instagram, Facebook and X (Twitter)