It’s the day of the annual activities fair, and you’re excited by the prospect of joining some clubs and getting involved. But you arrive at the fair only to freeze. All those tables. All those clubs. It’s a little overwhelming, to say the least. You timidly start to browse through the different posters, accumulating a large collection of flyers and brochures from various clubs hungry for new members. You stop and sign up for the mailing lists of a few. When you get back to your room, you sit down on your bed, spread the flyers out in front of you, and realize something: you can’t join every one of these clubs. It’s not humanly possible. So how do you choose? How do you narrow it down?
If you’re someone who’s serious about your career, why not get a jump start? Why not combine business with pleasure and get some valuable career skills while you socialize?
Here are five clubs to join that will actually help your career:
1. Student Senate
Let’s just pause to reflect on one thing here: You’re a senator (in a sense). This is a major resume booster because it shows that you have organizational and leadership skills, and you’re comfortable taking on responsibility. Those are three major buzzwords for any industry. Plus, it gets you involved in your school community and helps you make connections that could potentially last a lifetime.
2. Computer Science Club
Computer programming may seem like something beyond all but the most tech-savvy among us, but with companies increasingly relying on technology, it’s a hot skill to have. And with plenty of free resources out there like Codecademy.com, literally anyone can become a bit of a programmer. What better way to develop (or brush up on) these skills than to join a club on campus and motivate yourself to get more involved?
3. Campus Television Station
Fear of public speaking, anyone? Why not face that fear head-on and get in front of a camera? Although it may feel weird at first, probably even terrifying, definitely consider it. Public speaking skills are a major life skill to have (I know it sounds cliché but it’s true). You need them for everything from presentations at work to the initial interview for that job. As an added bonus, once you’ve broadcasted live from a TV studio, giving that presentation to a conference room full of coworkers won’t seem so intimidating.
4. Creative Writing Club
This may seem like the least useful club for a practical-minded person. After all, your ability to write poetry isn’t exactly going to impress an employer who’s hiring you to head the accounting department. But one of the top skills employers say they value is creativity. Writing and communication skills are also key. Getting into the habit of creative writing will hone these skills and keep them sharp so you’re ready to impress your boss when she needs an out-of-the-box idea.
5. Spanish Club, Chinese Club, or any other language/culture club
It’s always a good thing to expand your understanding of another culture, just for personal growth. But being fluent in another language or culture will also make you attractive to potential employers. Could our world get any more global? Plenty of careers, from public relations to public policy, have positions that require familiarity with different cultures or even fluency in another language. Take advantage of the opportunity to grow your skills!
These are just a few of the many offerings most colleges have. You should definitely explore beyond this and make your own connections between career and clubs. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with joining something for fun. So go on and sign up for disc golf, or try out for acapella. College is a journey. Enjoy every moment of it!