Academic success at university can provide a strong platform to propel you onto your chosen career path. Employers looking to hire a graduate are naturally drawn to course results as an important factor in determining the best candidate to recruit.
However, ensuring you achieve good grades is not the only thing you should focus on at university – there are plenty of other skills you need to learn, and one in particular that can have a significant impact on your future is leadership.
So many companies today are searching for employees who possess leadership – people who can be future leaders of the organisation. Often, though, this is something people lack, which can be a potential roadblock to career growth.
One easy way to develop such ability at university is to participate in extracurricular activities. Through this, you can learn and apply leadership skills while also becoming a better team player. And by working as part of a team, you also build stronger time management capabilities.
Extracurricular activities also provide an opportunity to hone your leadership credentials in a fun and inviting environment, rather than in the pressure cooker atmosphere of the workplace.
Let’s take a look at some of the areas where you can begin to pick up these life-important skills.
Does your university have a student club? Why not put your hand up to take on a senior position? Taking on the responsibility of managing the daily running of the club and its surrounding infrastructure can really put your management ability to the test.
There’s also the student council, where individuals can become the representative for their class. This position is usually filled by popular vote, so to even be elected you will need to demonstrate your ability to manage a campaign, organise events, and communicate clearly with other student council members and the university as a whole.
Being part of the student council also suggests you are not only a leader but also someone who is responsible and driven to succeed, which can be an important selling point to a future employer.
If you are strong at sports, consider pushing to become captain of a team, a role that requires you to not only lead but also inspire those around you – just the kind of skill that companies love in employees.
Not everyone is strong at sports, however, but there are still plenty of other options to showcase you abilities – become head of the debate team, or even the book club, for example.
If you are strong academically, consider becoming a tutor to younger students. This doesn’t just involve providing guidance to a student on how to solve a mathematics problem, but also requires leadership ability to motivate students who may lack confidence or not have a passion for academia.
To be successful in business, leadership is critical. So instead of waiting to develop such skills when you’re in the workforce, leverage the opportunities that university provides and get an advantage over the competition.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
* This article first appeared in The Borneo Post (www.theborneopost.com)