How to Get Legit Leadership Experience!
Dreams into realities
Aside from delving into the major that will hopefully lead to a future career, you can participate in a vast array of extracurriculars that will enrich your college experience—and resume. From the first day you step foot on your college campus, you can be a leader through the opportunities you explore and the way you treat others. If you know that one day you’ll see your name next to the word “CEO,” there are more than enough opportunities to pursue throughout college that will help you achieve the leadership you crave—and will help shape you into a better person along the way.
If you were a student leader in high school that will probably easily translate into joining organizations in college. Before you sign up for 25 different organizations (seriously, you won’t answer more than half of their emails), really think about what you want to devote your time to during your four short years at university. Obviously, you don’t have to have everything figured out the first time you go to a club fair—an impactful passion project can present itself sophomore, junior, even senior year. Pick the organizations that you know will drive and motivate you. Whether it’s a small on-campus publication or student government, you’ll succeed in the organizations you have the most passion for!
In terms of putting yourself out there, make sure you’re constantly introducing yourself to people and attending events sponsored by your chosen organization or university. Spending time holed up in your dorm room and hoping that opportunities will magically present themselves is not the way you achieve your goals. It’ll take a little leg work on your part but ask for all the help you need along the way. Attend expos, networking events, and socials in order to make yourself seen as the leader you are—and the leader you eventually aspire to be.
Do good for others
One of the most rewarding ways you can be a leader is through providing service to your greater community. Whether this is volunteering at local soup kitchens, organizing clothing donations, or hosting fundraiser events, you can be seen as a leader at not only your university but in your town. Service opportunities provide a place for you to grow not only in leadership skills but also in empathy. It encourages you to step outside of your privilege and put yourself in another person’s shoes. Service reminds us all that we should ultimately be working for a greater purpose.
Even at our universities, we can engage in impactful service opportunities that will lead to rewarding leadership roles. Become involved as a Student Health ambassador and work in erasing the stigma surrounding mental health. Volunteer at your university’s sexual response center and be a resource for victims. Move on up within your community service center and plan service trips and local excursions. You may not be looking to go into non-profit work following graduation, but you will only feel good about the community service you partake in throughout college.
Though you may view college as the vehicle to get you to your dream career, remind yourself that these four short years shouldn’t only be about the next step. Slow down and enjoy it. Enjoy the laughs you have with your friends, enjoy the sleepless nights and the memories you’ll make along the way. While the work you put in college is invaluable, you have your whole life to be a badass CEO. Take these four years to become the leader you were always meant to be—while enjoying the bumps in the ride along the way.
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