Attending the second largest university has many perks, but it is also easy to get washed out in a crowd of 60,000 students. These thousands of students are going to be competing for jobs when graduation comes & it’s very important to differentiate oneself. Many students try to find ways to stand out from their peers by seeking internships and part-time jobs but many students often overlook the importance of extracurricular activities.
Extracurricular activities offer many benefits, which is why they are so important. First, extracurricular activities make you more well-rounded. They give you many transferable skills that can be utilized throughout your life in any job, industry, and career. These transferrable skills include communication skills, organizational skills, interpersonal skills, networking skills, time management skills, listening skills, team work skills, etc..etc.…etc.… The list can literally go on and on. In the classroom setting, you don’t get to interact often with your peers, especially with the huge business classes that have around 1500 students. You don’t get the direct interaction that you get by joining an organization & participating in extracurricular activities. In addition, extracurricular activities offer many opportunities for leadership. There are numerous officer positions available for students in the plethora of organizations offered at UCF. Employers value leadership because it shows initiative, potential, ambition, and drive. In addition, leadership roles show managerial skills & the ability to manage & influence others. In addition, joining an extracurricular activity offers the opportunity to network. When you are in an organization, you share that organization with all of the other members, so you get to expand your professional network & even gain a new network of friends, which is not always easy to find in such a huge university. Finally, extracurricular activities can enhance your resume. If one candidate has an internship on their resume but another has an internship and involvement in an extracurricular activity, which candidate would the employer choose?
I’ve stressed the importance of extracurricular activities, but it is important to get involved in extracurricular activities that are meaningful & will have a positive impact on your college education & ultimately, your career. There are numerous organizations at UCF that are based on major or volunteer organizations that would be very beneficial to students. Volunteering gives you many opportunities to learn, network, and most importantly, give back to the community. Employers value volunteer experiences higher than social extracurricular activities because it shows that you are selfless & care about your contribution to the community, which is important because it shows that you can also contribute to their company in a meaningful way.
I want to close by giving the benefits that I have gained from joining a volunteer organization at UCF. Last semester, I pledged for Alpha Phi Omega, which is a National Co-ed Service Fraternity & I’ve gained so many benefits from it! I got to meet an incredible group of like-minded people, from all different majors & backgrounds, who are all great people. For me, it really helped me with my time management skills. I pledged during my Fall 2015 semester. During that time, I was also taking 13 credit hours & working at my internship about 25 hours per week. I was able to manage everything and I improved my organizational & time management skills. Joining an extracurricular organization has helped to expand my resume & has improved the skills that I can offer to future employers. I’ve been able to contribute my time to the organization & the community, & hopefully, I can contribute my time a future employer as well.
Junior, Accounting & Finance, College of Business
Project Finance Intern, Starwood Vacation Ownership
Brother, Alpha Phi Omega, Psi Omega Chapter