6 answers

On-campus activities to exercise business-leadership skills?

Asked Bethesda, Maryland

Hi all,

I know every college campus is different - different clubs, organizations and communities - but what are some on-campus organizations I should look into for more business-leadership experience? #college #business #leadership #organization #clubs

6 answers

Arthur’s Answer

Updated Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hi Matthew, Each college has different names for similar clubs/activities. I would go onto your college's website and find a list of all clubs/organizations at your college, and see if there are any that are related to business/finance/economics. If you can't find anything there, you could always try talking to professors in your business or economics department. I'm sure that they will have some information about these types of clubs/activities, or at the very least be able to direct you to someone who can give you more information. If you stick with it long enough, you could try running for a leadership role (i.e. president, vice president, treasurer, etc.).Alternatively, to gain leadership you could try running for student government positions. I hope this helps!

Updated
Student government has become very appealing. I appreciate it, Arthur.

Thomas’s Answer

Updated

If there is a particular type of business that you are interested in, say marketing, see if your university/school has a "marketing club" that you can become involved with. If these clubs offer leadership positions and opportunities that's even better.


Depending on your school, there are also "honor societies" that will exhibit to future employers or programs that you are an driven student.


I'd also recommend finding volunteer opportunities through local non-profits. Express an interest in understanding more about how the organization runs from a business perspective so that you can speak to that in the future.

Thomas recommends the following next steps:

  • Research clubs and organizations on campus to find a few that fit your goals/passion.
Updated
Your answer is great Thomas, thanks so much for sharing your expertise! At this moment there are more than 800 unanswered questions so I wanted to encourage you to keep going! So many students will benefit tremendously from hearing from you. Keep up the great work!

David’s Answer

Updated Norwich, England, United Kingdom

Leadership is leadership whatever the discipline. There should be some kind of business club (mine was called the "Industrial Society"), however there will be competition for leadership places, and if you're very new, it may be better to join that, but also look for positions elsewhere - it doesn't matter which club, so follow your interests. Business recruiters are looking for people with a broad set of interests - a "hinterland" behind the business face. The important thing to project manage stuff, whether it be activities, a publication, a trip out, whatever. That gives you the opportunity to learn how to bring people with you - the heart of leadership.

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I like your philosophy on leadership, David. Do you rec. any essential books to read?
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I don't have any specific reading recommendations - I learnt about leadership from the University army cadets (even though I had no plans to join the army, it was the cheapest bar in town, and taught me to drive :-) ) and resulted in a Military Training Qualification. The other learning that worked for me - much later on - was joining a local charity, and being responsible for organising activities and fund-raising. Again, part of it was project management, and part was bringing people along with you.
Updated
Michael Simpson’s Unlocking Potential, try this on for size.

Jimi’s Answer

Updated Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Hi Matthew,


I think this is a good questions because I am a firm believer in being as 'well-rounded' as possible before seeking a full time job.

A good way to do this is through activities that are not necessarily academic such as campus clubs/organizations.

You could join an organization that is aligned with your career choice such as the Commerce Society, Business Administration club e.t.c. I would recommend not just joining the club but running to be part of the executive team. This allows you to develop your leadership and communication skills as you will have to convey your goals for the organization and influence people to drive toward those goals. You also build connections within the university and outside as you work with external partners and those connections can be invaluable when you are seeking employment.

Its also a good idea to seek internship positions (e.g summer internships) with employers you will like to work with where possible.


I would advise that you make sure to be well balanced in your commitments so that your grades don't suffer.


I hope that helps and good luck!


Jimi

Bob’s Answer

Updated California, California

I would seek out your nearest Toastmasters group. Here are 3 things to keep in mind while practicing (or learning by doing) leadership at Toastmasters. 1) Learn from those who have gone before you. In toastmasters, mentors will help you learn leadership skills based on their experience. Be sure to ask for a mentor.

2) Learn by doing. Volunteer to be a club officer. Do the role to the best of your ability. Set goals. Plan. Do. Inspect. and Adapt.

3) If you can lead volunteers, you can lead anybody. Learn by doing. Get better with practice before you try it out in the real world. Don't make excuses. Achieve your goals (toastmasters lays them out for you) and improve your leadership skills. You can learn this stuff..

Michelle’s Answer

Updated

Hi Matthew,


I would say to keep your mind open to business and leadership opportunities in any organization you might be interested in! Business can be found everywhere, and it's often just a matter of framing it properly.


During my own college career I gained leadership and hands on business experience from an unlikely source--a craft club. In founding the club I had to practice leadership skills to bring people together and organize our meetings, goals, and official structure. Then for our crafting events there was a hands on application of accounting and finance in designing the activities, pricing out the supplies, setting and collecting fees, managing the supply chain to get everything in time, and so on. All of these experiences came up in later interviews as examples of hands-on learning I had during college.


Look out for what you enjoy and either join an existing organization or start your own. From there you'll find the experience is just a matter of getting involved and being proactive.