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Schooling of any kind, whether you’re at high school or university, is hard enough without having after-school commitments to worry about. But the benefits of participating in extracurricular activities are more than worth the effort and can make a great addition to your resume when you start looking for full-time employment.
Some of the most popular extracurricular activities on offer include sports, writing for the school newspaper, choirs/music groups, academic clubs (chess or maths, for example), and sitting on committees that contribute to school life (student councils, business associations, etc.). They are usually voluntary, requiring weekly/monthly meetings between members who work in a variety of ways to support the club or association they are a part of. Internships, work experience placements or student exchange programs may also fall into this bracket.
Being accepted for a job isn’t just about having high GPAs. Employers want to see that you have gained work experience in a similar field, that you are familiar with some of their workflow procedures and/or that you possess the transferable skills they most value. Taking on extracurricular work also shows that you have initiative – that you will achieve what is required and go beyond.
Furthermore, certain student associations and internships give you opportunities to interact with people you wouldn’t usually get the chance to meet, such as directors from large companies within your chosen industry. And just by being a member of one or more different clubs you can demonstrate that you’re curious and interested in a range of things outside the academic sphere, that you’re sociable and motivated, and, perhaps most importantly, that you’re prepared to get involved in the ‘community’.
Any extracurricular activity – whether you join a club, help to arrange an event or complete an internship – could be highly beneficial to your future job-hunt. Not only will it potentially give you an edge over other candidates, it’s quite easy for anyone to achieve if they are driven enough. So if you’re not gaining the highest grades or you’re worried that you don’t have enough connections to make a start in your ideal career, then finding some extracurricular activities to get excited about would be a great place to start.