How to Get a Leadership Role as a College Student

Just like in high school, having a leadership role that demonstrates your ability to manage others, take initiative, and hold numerous responsibilities is a great thing to have on your resume. If those leadership roles also have something to do with the job you want someday, that’s even better! But unlike high school, where your competition probably wasn’t too stiff and most people had an idea of who you were, in college, you might be up against many, many people, all with talents equal to or better than yours. Check out these tips on how to score a leadership role at your university.

Don’t Be Shy

While you might have gotten away with getting a leadership role in high school as the quiet type, that probably won’t work for you now. Here’s your chance to speak up. Introduce yourself to others. Provide your input often. Come up with ideas. Make yourself present. Networking is key, and if people recognize who you are, you have a far better chance at being elected into a leadership role.

Look for Roles that Make Sense

When deciding what leadership roles are available, look for ones that make sense. What is going to matter to your future employer? If you’re going to school to become a doctor, it will make much more sense for you to become the president of the biology club, or even a resident assistant, than the secretary of ski club. In addition, keep in mind that what makes sense may not always be what’s straight forward. As an accounting major, it would still make sense for you to be the treasurer of your river dance club because regardless of the subject, you’re still gaining experience managing money. Remember to ask yourself, what does this role say about me? If you can’t defend your reasoning, and it’s not simply a passion of yours (which is okay, too), move on.

Look for Roles in Many Places

When thinking about taking on a leadership role, you might immediately think of extra-curricular groups and organizations, but there are other places you could demonstrate leadership as well. Your residence hall likely has a student council. Your major likely has several influential positions linked to it. The organizations and groups in your college community probably have something to offer as well. There may even be something relating to your future career at a part time job off campus. Keep an open mind when looking for leadership roles as sometimes the best ones are a little harder to find!

Make Your Own

If you find you’re not elected into the positions you want, or nothing on campus is as beneficial as what your own mind can come up with, don’t be afraid to take on the ultimate leadership role and start something new! What better way to demonstrate leadership than to create your own club, organization, or event that interests you from the ground up?

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