Your Degree Is Not Enough: Go the Extra-Curricular Mile

Extra-curricular-activitiesThe attributes we leave our college careers with are what set us apart. Two recent grads with the exact same degree can be entirely different people, offer entirely different strengths to an employer… and be suited for entirely different jobs.

Your Degree Doesn’t Tell the Full Picture

Universities ultimately present two main opportunities:

  • The first is to gain further qualifications and to enhance our knowledge
  • The other is to grow and develop as human beings, community members and employees/leaders

The second opportunity is what makes you… you.

The thing about college: if we are willing to put in the hard work and a few Red Bull-fueled all-nighters, we are led on a path which should see us leave with a qualification; it’s what academic staff, tutors and university administrators are there to help us do. In that sense we could say that two people studying in the same class experience the same university life… in academic terms, anyway.

If this is the case, however; then what separates one graduate from another?

Going the Extra-curricular Mile Counts!

What makes some more employable than others is not necessarily what we have learned in class, but what we have done; what we have accomplished.

The great benefit of extra-curricular activity is that, unlike a degree, we don’t have to wait until we are tested or examined to do it; we aren’t held back and told which activities we can do and which we can’t. And, most importantly, we can all gain very different skills as a result.

Self-development and becoming employable can only happen as fast as we are prepared to allow it to happen.

If we embrace opportunities which allow us to learn new skills and take us out of our comfort zone, we become far more interesting, certainly to employers. And where better a place than college to become the people we want to be? Where else can we better learn the skills we want to obtain, which leads us to the careers we want to enter?

So when should we start? When should we begin seeking out and taking advantage of the opportunities that help us become employable… and more interesting to employers?

Why Go for Just Any Job?

Developing as a person is as important – and perhaps more necessary – as achieving good grades and obtaining a good degree.

Like most things, the sooner you start and the more practice and experience you get the better. The benefits of starting early go far beyond heightening your chance of just getting a job. Volunteer, run a club, join a committee, become a class representative; fully use your time in college to develop your skill-set.

As soon as possible, learn more about yourself and increase your chances of not only getting any job, but getting the perfect job for you with the perfect company.

Recruitment processes are aimed to find out about you; not about your degree, not about what modules you did in class. Employers want to know that you are going to make an impact for them, that you have the raw skills to become a success in their organization and they also want to know that you want to work for them… and why.

By knowing what you’re good at, knowing what you’re passionate about and by choosing your future career based on that, you are more likely to find a cultural fit; a company that employs people like you, a company where you will excel and a company where you will be a success!

Use a university to get a degree, but go the extra-curricular mile to become interesting… and employable!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Learning to Leap!



About the Author: Chris Milborrow is a student at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and a Student Brand Ambassador for Ernst and Young. Currently, he is through to the final top 10 in a Student of the Year competition. You can read more of his wonderful blogs on his personal site, Attitudes and Attributes, a student perspective on employability, graduate attributes and important attitudes.



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