Going Beyond Classroom Involvement

Being involved with extracurriculars is a very important thing to do in college! Not only does it build your character and open you up to so many opportunities, but it allows you to give recommenders and those who view your application a better look into who you are and what you are apart of! Finding the right balance between academics and clubs or opportunities outside of that can be challenging, so the following tips should help you stay on track.

1. Find things that interest you

You can put what you've learned in the classroom to work by joining student-run research projects, doing an internship, conducting undergraduate research, or studying abroad. Find things that you like that you are proud to be a part of and fully invested in! These opportunities and experiences will help make you more competitive for external fellowships, scholarships, and awards. Your personal pursuits matter.

Whether you're conducting research, building rockets with a student organization, or volunteering with your fraternity, what you pursue is important. These personal pursuits demonstrate your curiosity, commitment, and values. Including these in your application helps reviewers see your personal identity and the person you aspire to be.

2. Be a leader

Want to branch out and take on some more responsibility? Considering going for a leadership position in a club you are apart of? Do it! There is nothing stopping you from being a leader on campus and in your own life other than yourself. The qualities leaders posses help make you more marketable and understanding of the things you need to accomplish in your career. No matter how early or late you join a cub there is always room for you to be a leader and get yourself involved!

3. Use the opportunities you get to enhance your professional skills

It's not enough to simply show up to a club or event and put it on your resume. Selection committees often want to see that you have deep and sustained involvement in your areas of interest. If you're working on a research project, ask questions so you can fully understand why the research is being done, the expected outcomes, and ways to expand your role. Use your internship as an opportunity to develop your communication, teamwork, and collaboration skills and learn as much about the organization as you can. These experiences could be the foundation for a fantastic application.

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