This is post four of a six part series about involvement on campus. Part one discussed why I got involved, part two explained why I didn’t get involved sooner, part three touched on the opportunities available through being involved, part four talks about leadership experience, part five explains how to go about getting involved and briefly what it takes up front and part six are my thoughts going forward for post graduation involvement.
Getting Involved; Part 4: Leadership Experience
The final factor of importance that I want to stress about getting involved is leadership. The leadership experience gained through organizations is invaluable. Not only does it give you a learning opportunity of what it’s like to organize, plan and pull everything together for an organization to operate but it also illustrates a ton of skills to prospective employers. When you develop your leadership skills you learn various styles of leadership such as coaching, directing and delegating. You learn when to explicitly lay out instruction or put your faith in someone and empower them to let their skills develop in accomplishing tasks.
Going a little deeper, holding a leadership position obviously forces you to become efficient at working with others on a hierarchical level and also as members of an equal team unit. You improve your organizational skills, communication skills as well as time management skills when you run an organization and balance school at the same time.
Now you may be thinking, “You’re talking about being at the top of the ladder. I won’t be starting there or I may not even get there!” That is true, the opportunity and the fit has to be just right, sometimes accompanied by a stroke of luck on timing. Not all those top positions will necessarily be available during your tenure in an organization (which means you should join early!) However, any position on the executive board of an organization will hone the aforementioned skills of good communication, time management, teamwork, and to an extent, some of those leadership skills if you have tasks that require you to assemble a team for to help you complete those objectives.
Not every company looks to hire someone from college and place them straight into a management role but sometimes that is the absolutely the case. However, when companies look to invest in their future by investing in you, it makes you that much more valuable to their company by possessing those skills and experiences.
In part five of this series I elaborate on how to get involved with organizations on campus.