Spring semesters bring new opportunities for the next Academic Year. Not to pull you away from focusing on your classes this semester, but an opportunity you should consider is joining some type of student leadership positions. After all, it doesn’t really matter where you go to College but it definitely does matter how.
How you go to College matters. Most schools will give you a quality education, so to distinguish yourself from other candidates when applying for your job you have to do something more than just gain a quality education. You have to develop yourself as a professional and as a leader. The way you do that is by intentionally seeking out opportunities and working on gaining the “other” education that will help you make an impact in your chosen career.
When completing my undergraduate degree, I heard about an opportunity to be a Resident Assistant. The free rent sounded good, so I pursued and was offered the job. That following year, I saw many ways that the skills I was learning to be a successful Resident Assistant were many of the same skills that I knew I needed to succeed in my career. After realizing this, I went all into developing myself, knowing that each time I was becoming a better RA I was becoming a better professional. All of a sudden, I saw myself being offered the opportunity to run my own Residence Hall and staff of Resident Assistants as a Hall Director. Again more connections were made to help me become a better professional. Soon after that, I found myself working full time at a College where I was responsible for training RAs. I know that the investments I made as a Resident Assistant helped me catapult my career and because I don’t have super powers I know it can work for you too.
A few student leader positions are Resident Assistants, Ambassadors, and part of Student Government. Check out your own campus for specifics, but all of them can help you propel your development. Here are four reasons to consider why you should be a student leader next year.
Catapult Your Career
As I said from my own experience, student leader positions help you learn aspects of leadership that you don’t learn in class. When you apply for jobs after getting your degree, you will be evaluated on how much education you have. Once you get the job, a shift happens without anyone letting you know. All of a sudden, you are not evaluated on how much you know, it is all about what you can do. If you start working on teamwork, communication, mediation, report writing, and more, then you prepare yourself to be ready for that shift.
Elevate Your Circle of Influence
The people you surround yourself with dramatically impacts your priorities and work ethic. If you hang out with 4.0 students, you’ll be the fifth. If you hang out with leaders, you’ll be the fifth. Though not every student leader will be highly driven to their development, you will have a better chance to find those who are within that group and elevate the influences that you are around.
Build Your Resume
Having experiences to list on your resume looks much better than just an education alone. Compliment your great education with experiences of gaining the “other” education. Student leadership positions are pretty universals, most employers are going to know what you are talking about when you share your experiences.
Gain Great References
In my work recruiting, hiring, training, and supervising student leaders, there was no greater joy than seeing those leaders move on to bigger and better things. I wanted them to get that big job and did anything I could to help. Advisors of student leader positions want your success and turn into valuable references that you don’t have if you just went to class during school.
The list could go on, but you can find out more by pursuing one or more of these opportunities. Start looking for fliers advertising interest meetings for these positions. Look for opportunities on your campus to gain the “other” education, your future self will thank you for it.