Each year, millions of students become college graduates. If you don’t want to get lost in the crowds, you need to do things that the crowds aren’t doing. Try these four, to start:
1. 1.) Get Involved in a Group/Club Freshman Year…and Stick with It!
Extracurricular activities look great on a resume; but employers aren’t going to be impressed that you attended an environmental club meeting one time for three minutes. Now, if you are part of a club dedicated to the written works of strong females for all four years and then pursue a career in journalism, that’s completely different. Employers like to see that you can commit and that you’re capable of handling something long-term. They don’t want a job hopper.
Volunteering is also a great idea. Whether or not it’s related to your field of interest, it won’t hurt to say in interviews that you helped out at the homeless shelter once a week for two years straight. Other places you can check are animal hospitals/shelters, daycare centers, and retirement homes.
1. 2.) Find Out about Working with Your Professor
Some colleges refer to them as TSIs (Teaching Student Instructors) or TSAs (Teaching Student Assistants). Talk to your professor or counselor about how you can apply to be one. It’s an enormous responsibility, as you will be put partly in charge of a lot of students; but it looks fantastic on a resume to have held a position of authority, and the experience is invaluable!
1. 3.) Become an RA
Make sure you’re up for the responsibility; but again, what you get in return might very well be worth it. You don’t get paid traditionally, but your room and board fees go bye-bye. Do you know how much money you’d save? Neither do we, but it’s a LOT. I can’t remember the last time I heard someone utter, “Ugh, I hate saving money.”
Talk to someone who did it in the past and get the dirt on the job. If it’s something you might be interested in and you can handle the commitment, then fill out an application and see what happens!
1. 4.) Find a Mentor
Having someone who you look up to who can help lead the way through your college experience is a great asset. They can give you incomparable insight and provide the support you need to make your college experience—and life beyond—a great one.
There are a number of other things you can do to differentiate yourself from the slew of other graduates, like interning, studying broad, starting a new club, or serving on the board of a preexisting one. No matter what tickles your fancy, roll up your sleeves and get ready to do a little dirty work. College is tough and adding to your course load isn’t going to make it any easier—but no one said it would be easy. The sense of accomplishment and employers waiting to hire you after you graduate will make it all worth it in the end.
Gloria Pickett writes for education blogs where you can learn more about Bachelor of Business Administration Degrees.