How to Gain Leadership Skills in College
College is a time for growth and exploration. One of the best ways to do this is to try out various leadership opportunities, which can help boost your experience and skills. There are a lot of leadership opportunities for every type of student. Whether you’re more academically inclined or more into sports, there are different options to consider.
There are other ways to build on leadership skills other than being president of an organization. Not everyone is a leader, but everyone can benefit from developing leadership skills. Leadership skills have to do with good communication, time management, decision-making, and teamwork. These can be built by joining and participating in activities and organizations.
Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Activities
Running and being elected as a member of the student government is a prestigious opportunity highly regarded by schools and future employers. Fortunately, there are many opportunities and positions to be filled. You have the option to run for various positions as a representative of the whole student body, championing the needs and the welfare of the student population.
If you are into journalism and communications, you may want to example would be to join the student publication. Those who are inclined to sports can join different varsity teams as athletes or coach staff.
Activities and Other Initiatives
You can opt to vie for leadership positions in your residence hall and student organizations if you wish to work on a smaller scale.
A great option would be to become the resident advisor or resident assistant (RA) at one of the dorms. As RA, you will be in charge of maintaining the upkeep of residence halls and planning activities for the residents. You will be working with various groups of people and organizations. To be effective in this job, you have to have strong interpersonal skills and time management skills because you have to also keep up with a typical student’s workload. Apart from building skills and connections, you might even be compensated for this job!
If you have limited time, you might want to organize or at least participate in community service activities to promote initiatives such as mental health awareness, Black Lives Matter, and animal rights. These one-time events are an excellent way to organize and execute relevant activities to impact the community. Best of all, you don’t have to commit an entire semester or academic year to participate!
You can also do volunteer work by leading the new student orientation, being a teacher’s assistant, or helping university offices (i.e., Admissions). Volunteer work does not seem to be an obvious choice for boosting one’s leadership skills. Popular choices for volunteer work include leading new students’ orientation, working for a professor, and volunteering at one university office. In leading the new student orientation, it’s an excellent opportunity to plan an event and build on your interpersonal skills as the new students will be relying on you to show them around the school. If you decide to work for a professor, you will get the chance to observe how a leader (in this case, the professor) applies the leadership skills you are learning. The same applies to volunteering at a university office.