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Gain Job Experience Without Leaving Campus

October 25, 2011

Amanda Gallucci (@agalluch) is a junior at Providence College in Rhode Island, studying English and Business. She has held marketing internships at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and Planned Television Arts in New York City.

Blogger Amanda GallucciBy Amanda Gallucci

Chances are if you’re on this site you realize the importance of having an internship, but most students don’t have the time or flexibility to have an internship every semester. It’s important to realize that you can find your passion, hone your skills, and gain experience elsewhere—even on your own campus!

Getting involved in sports, clubs, and organizations is crucial for college students, and might be the most convenient way to build your résumé and boost your confidence without venturing too far. Some choices are obvious, like if you’re interested in journalism, you should join the school paper. Other fields might not have their own exclusive organizations, but you can still hold roles that relate to what you want to do. Business majors can easily work on the marketing, social media, or finance campaigns in whichever clubs interest them. If you want to work with kids, there are probably opportunities to volunteer at local after school programs. Cultural clubs can show you are ready to work with international organizations.

Get Involved!Take the time to explore the different options your school offers, and then become an active member in the ones that sound best. “Active” doesn’t just mean showing up to meetings. If a group asks for volunteers to work at events or hang posters, take every chance you can to connect with more people and gain experience. For example, I’m on the marketing committee of my school’s Student Alumni Association. At the bare minimum, I have to attend weekly meetings and write on the group’s Facebook wall. However, since I know networking will come in handy when I’m looking for a job next year, I go to as many of the club’s optional events as possible so that I can meet alumni from my school. I also volunteered to be on a planning committee for Homecoming Weekend because I am interested in event planning as a career.

“Most employers are looking to hire well-rounded people… Clubs and organizations have much more to offer than you may think.”

On the other hand, don’t make the mistake of only joining the activities that sound like they will look best to a future employer, although those never hurt. Definitely choose what interests you and figure out what you are learning from it afterwards. The most important thing to remember is to be able to describe what is valuable about the experience you are getting. Don’t be afraid to put intramural sports on your résumé—they can show you are a good team player, or leader if you are captain. I choreograph for my school’s dance club. That doesn’t directly relate to the marketing position I hope to land one day, but it does show that I’m creative, organized, and able to teach others.

On Campus - Dance Team

Creativity, organization & the ability to teach others

Most employers are looking to hire well-rounded people who will add personality and background to their workplace community. GPAs and internships are always going to be important, but don’t forget to make the most of all aspects of your college experience. Clubs and organizations have much more to offer than you may think.

Which on campus clubs & organizations are you involved with?

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