University is full of great opportunities to learn, experience new things and make some great friends along the way. A fun way to do all of these things is to join clubs and extra-curricular activities.
While I was in my freshman year I decided to step out of my comfort zone and join the Food Science club. Most degree/diploma programs will have a related club. This is a great place to start. Here are some of the reasons I went back after the first club meeting.
Easy Networking Practice
Networking is one of the most important skills you can possess when searching for a job. The thought of networking can be pretty overwhelming for students. Joining a club will give you the opportunity to practice in a low stress environment. You’ll be able to easily make conversation with other club members as you’ve already established common ground by being in the same club or program. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be with networking when the time comes for an industry or career related event.
If you decide to join a program related club, you’ll be surrounded by people in different years of your program. Who better to ask for homework help and advice on different courses than people who are going through it with you or have already been through it? If you remain in the same program through to graduation you’ll be seeing these people quite often so it’s best to start getting to know them early on.
Building a Resume
Joining a club doesn’t directly count as work experience, however, you are able to use different experiences to build your resume. Consider joining the executive committee or volunteering at their events. Being the club’s treasurer can help you build organizational skills, being club president will build your leadership skills and volunteering to help at events will build your interpersonal skills. Though work experience is valuable, if you’re able to gain skills from your experiences in the club be sure to communicate that on your resume. It may prove to be more valuable than you think.
Are you involved in a club? Tell us about your experiences, leave a comment below. If you enjoyed this post you will enjoy this related podcast by The Dish.
About the author: Faith Baxter, Honours BSc. Food Science (Co-op)
As a recent graduate of the Food Science Co-op program at the University of Guelph, Faith understands the difficulties associated with transitioning from education to the workplace. She has had the opportunity to speak about these issues at various industry events with the goal of easing the transition of others.
Passionate about education and the industry, she is involved with the Taste Your Future campaign to increase awareness of opportunities in the Food and Beveridge industry among Canadians. You can hear Faith speak at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Nov 4-13, 2016.