When heading off to college, one of the most common pieces of advice you receive is to “get involved.” However, no one really explains what that means, and it can mean different things for everyone. In a general sense, it means that you are involved in something outside of just going to classes.
It is great advice to get involved in college to enhance your college experience, but also to enhance your personal and professional growth. Although your part-time job at Barnes and Noble is work experience you can leverage in an interview, you will come to see that college involvements can be even more useful in an interview when using the STAR strategy to answer interview questions. Keep reading to learn about how you should get involved and how these involvements can help land you an internship or job.
What should you get involved in?
When looking for opportunities to get involved in college, you want to ensure you select things that interest you. It is good to have a combination of involvements that include an activity just for fun, such as Culinary Club, and something more professional, such as Marketing Club. We’d recommend not having more than four involvements that you consider time-consuming as this would ultimately detract from your schoolwork. Remember that hiring managers look at your grades and involvements, so a balance between schoolwork and activities is crucial. This article expands on ways to get involved, whether your college is in person or still virtual.
Does it matter how you get involved?
The way you are involved in a club, sport, or other involvement is almost as important as the type of involvement itself. As mentioned earlier, it’s good to have a diversified mix of involvements for a balance of stress-relief and potentially useful experiences for interviews. Although Culinary Club or Video-gaming club are not inherently clubs that could be used on a resume or in an interview, they still can be useful depending on how you are involved in them! For example, if you plan an event for the club or help increase member engagement, those both exhibit great organizational and professional skills. I’d also recommend taking an official leadership role in the club, such as the Treasurer or Event Coordinator. If you have room to include this on your resume, it will look better to have a position listed, rather than simply a “member.”
Why do hiring managers care about college involvements?
As a college student, hiring managers are not expecting you to have an extensive professional experience section on your resume. On the other hand, one attribute that hiring managers are often looking for is how you can add value to their company. How can you show them this if you haven’t had leadership experience in a job? This is exhibited through your involvements in college! For example, they can assume you are trustworthy and can manage money if your resume shows that as Treasurer of Culinary Club you managed the budget and money to ensure funds were properly tracked and spent. It portrays that you have experience, even if not in an official job, with something that can facilitate your ability to excel in the job you applied for.
What are common interview questions you can answer with college involvements?
The following are some questions that you will now have an easier time answering because of your involvement in college.
- Tell me about yourself.
- Name a time when you worked on a team that disagreed. How did you resolve this?
- Name a time when you planned something.
- What are your interests?
- How do you manage your time?
- Name a time when you led a group.
Prior to an interview, reflect on your experiences in college so that you can seamlessly apply your involvements to situational interview questions. If you do multiple small or large tasks for whatever you are involved in, record your accomplishments and responsibilities as you complete them. As a result, when it comes time to update your resume or prepare for an interview, you can easily be reminded of what you’ve accomplished because you already have it written down!
Whether it is for your personal growth or for an increased chance of landing a future job, you’ve probably realized that it is beneficial to get involved in college. Regardless of the reasoning, your involvements in college will be useful to you in an interview. Remember to prepare your answers before an interview to common questions about yourself and your accomplishments (like those listed above). If you want more tips on interviewing and the job seeking process, be sure to check out the other articles on our blog!