Posts Tagged ‘leadership’
Welcome to college! Yes, you’re there to learn, but in addition to studying and taking classes, universities offer students countless opportunities to join student-run organizations on campus. Getting involved is a great way to build your resume, gain insightful experience, explore interests, have a good time, make new friends, and maybe even make a difference in the world.
Do you like to play sports but aren’t necessarily equipped to be a collegiate athlete? Intramurals may be right for you! Many universities offer students the opportunity to join intramural leagues—recreational sports leagues that allow you to form your own teams with friends or join teams as an individual—free of charge or for a small fee. Sports can range anywhere from volleyball and basketball to inner tube water polo and broomball, which will allow you to play the sports you love and maybe even try something new. Intramural sports are a great way to blow off steam, get some exercise, and be part of a really fun college organization.
The Greek system may not be the right choice for everyone, but if you are interested in sorority/fraternity life, joining a house can provide numerous ways to gain leadership and philanthropic experience. Joining the Greek system will be a lot of fun and give you a very social college experience, but it will also give you a great opportunity to be a part of a long-standing tradition, raise money for charities, and bolster your resume. Before going to college, you may not be aware that in addition to the traditional fraternities and sororities typically portrayed in the media, there are honors fraternities for certain majors, service fraternities, and cultural fraternities that all bring students together based on common interests. Joining the Greek system and becoming a leader within your chapter can be a great resume builder and help you make connections with alumni down the road when you are looking for a job. Many of the top politicians and businessmen in America were members of the Greek system in college, and you could be next!
College clubs are another great way to get involved on campus, and can be formed around anything you can think of: the more traditional, like a book club or chess club; the more obscure, like a squirrel-watching club or Harry Potter society; even the political, like Young Democrats or College Republicans. Whatever you’re interested in, your university is likely to have a club dedicated to it, and if not, maybe you can be the one to create it! Becoming an active member and taking on leadership positions within the organization is a great way to stand out on your campus and gain crucial experience. Having clubs to list on your resume can also be a great conversation starter in an interview and help you become a dynamic, interesting candidate.
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As a college student, your job is to study, learn, build skills and have fun. Explore your world! While it’s important to be in the moment and focus on school, it’s never too early to begin career planning. This does not necessarily mean concrete planning, but having some foresight about your future is a great idea. Here are some things you can do to be proactive about your future career.
Consider Attending Graduate School
Depending on your major, you are either bound to attend some form of graduate school or have never considered it as an option. Medical School is necessary for doctors, obviously. But if you aren’t pre-med, graduate programs may be worth investigating if you enjoy learning in a more challenging and competitive environment. Take a look at these six things you should know before applying to grad school. If you know Law School is or may be in your future, check out Cappex’s list of the best Law Schools in the country.
Study a Second Language
It’s not everyone’s strong suit, but studying a second language will come in very handy when you graduate college and begin applying for jobs. Our world is becoming smaller in many ways and knowing even the basics of another language will make you more valuable to an employer. Take a foreign language class if you can fit it into your schedule!
Think Outside the Box
You might have a freak-out moment where you yell, “Help! My major is useless in today’s job market!” Don’t worry. There are a lot of jobs to which you can apply all that you’ve learned earning your degree. Remember: work forward from where you are. You have a great set of skills that will vary in demand over time, but use what you have now to work towards an ultimate goal.
Have an Ultimate Goal!
An ultimate goal shouldn’t be a binding goal – demands change rapidly and so do you. You might change your mind down the road and that’s okay! But having a direction is better than having no direction. You can’t discover what you really want to do if you never start anything. So, choose a goal like graduating from Law School or writing a book or teaching a class. Work towards it from where you stand now.
Build Leadership Skills
Having experience as a leader will make you much more appealing to future employers and will definitely give you confidence to tackle your career search post college. Here are three awesome ways you can build leadership skills!
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As the president of your student government, a resident assistant at your residence hall, the captain of your sports team, or a leader in any other club or organization on campus, you have a lot of responsibilities. Besides the usual doing well in school, making it to all the club meetings, and maintaining your friendships and relationships, you have duties as a leader! The following is a list of challenges many college leaders face, and how to deal with them as they arise.
Being the Role Model: As a leader on campus, everyone knows who you are, what you’re involved in, and what you’ve accomplished. On the one hand, it feels completely awesome to walk out of your residence hall and have a handful of waves and conversations before you’ve even reached your destination. On the other hand, everyone knows when you mess up. You’ve heard before that as a student leader, all eyes are on you, all the time. So what do you do when you’re getting a little tired of being on your best behavior for everyone?
Solution: Find a place you can just be yourself. This might be with a friend who lives off campus, with your friends back home, or with another student leader who feels the same pressures you do. Let this place be where you can tell your closest confidants what you REALLY think about the opponent running for your position. By having a place you can be just you, you’re relieving some of the pressures of being a role model all of the time.
Keeping Up with Everything: Chances are, if you’re in one leadership role, you’re in a bunch. Leadership is in your nature. While you might be in love with all of the roles you play on campus, there will always be weeks in which you have tons of exams, relationship problems, volunteer work, family issues, people coming to you for advice, and a million more things you just feel you can’t keep up with. It only takes a few days like this before you’ve failed a quiz, missed a meeting, or skipped a class so you can finish your homework. How do you stay on top?
Solution: Examine how you spend your time and see if there are places in which you could use it more wisely. If you’re already managing your time as best as you can, you may want to consider pulling out of something. While it’s great to be a part of so many things, you want to give these things your all as opposed to hardly having time for any of them. You’ll be a better leader because of it!
Pleasing Everyone: As a leader, you’re the one who gets to hear all of the grief! If you propose that your organization spend money on one thing, you’re upsetting a group of people who wanted the money spent on something else. If other students don’t like how your organization is run, you’re the one who deals with the complaints. As a leader, you can likely see many points of view and can sympathize with everyone, but despite what you do, someone is unhappy.
Solution: Understand that you can’t please everyone, nor will you be liked by everyone. All you can do is your best, and what you think is right!
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