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Do extracurriculars matter... in college?


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#1 Dead of Knight

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:40 AM

I'm a freshman in accounting, with a 3.7 GPA in the honors program, and all I hear is, get involved, get leadership positions, blah blah blah. The thing is, I'm not too sociable and there's not really anything I'm truly interested in doing on campus. I definitely want to get an intership in my sophomore year and/or beyond, but that's about it. Is it REALLY necessary to become involved during college to get special opportunities and jobs? Or is it just crap to try to get you involved on campus?
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#2 Ikohn4ever

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:41 AM

I'm a freshman in accounting, with a 3.7 GPA in the honors program, and all I hear is, get involved, get leadership positions, blah blah blah. The thing is, I'm not too sociable and there's not really anything I'm truly interested in doing on campus. I definitely want to get an intership in my sophomore years and/or beyond, but that's about it. Is it REALLY necessary to become involved during college to get special opportunities and jobs? Or is it just crap to try to get you involved on campus?



you could always volunteer that looks great and it shows that you were active, i worked at a soup kitchen, animal shelter, and a boys and girls club during my 4 years of college
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#3 Blade

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:41 AM

Can you play football?

#4 DT778

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:44 AM

Who's telling you this? I'm majoring in accounting too and no one has told me anything about extracurricular activities... but then again I'm at a community college.

#5 Dead of Knight

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:45 AM

Can you play football?


No. And I'm a girl, so it doesn't matter anyways.

I would be game for volunteering for things like Ikohn said. Whenever I did that in high school, I enjoyed it. I just had to get up off my ass and do it. I just don't think I could handle a leadership position in some club, though, because I'm just very shy.

DT778: Pretty much everyone in a leadership position at college tells me this. My RA, my advisor, etc.
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#6 DT778

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:52 AM

Well I hope its bs because I probably won't have time for them when I transfer in the fall since I'll be working and living on my own.

#7 alonzomourning23

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:52 AM

It depends on what. Get involved in things pertaining to your major and it could help you network, get internships (which can often lead to job offers after college) etc.. Though it may help if you're eventually going to go to graduate school, but that's just a guess.
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#8 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:57 AM

it never hurts. but really, its more for graduate school that a job.

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#9 Duo_Maxwell

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:58 AM

Yes they do matter and for the main reason being references and maybe even more importantly networking. If you are the president, vp, etc. of a club or something you often have a deep source for at least character references and depending on the club references regarding your work. Then there's the networking, it can open a huge path to the job market after college. Getting to know faculty that often have connections in the job market, working with companies and local groups, hiring and communicating regularly with guest speakers or special invitees. All those and more can be part of being in extracurriclars.

There's also the obvious internship, even internal ones. I think my college had a program where undergraduate business majors could intern in the offices athletic department (don't be fooled at a big college it's very much a business) for a semester. Talk to people that will hire kids straight out of college and I'm sure they are gonna glance at your GPA but they'll almost without a doubt tell you that your co-curriculars will give them a much better idea of who they are hiring and what you can do for them.

#10 zionoverfire

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 05:07 AM

An internship is a very good idea, I've known several people who got their job at the company they interned for.

Everything else is mainly useful for resume padding and contacts. But if you do feel concerend about getting involved look at things inside your department like undergrad research/thesis courses.

#11 Dead of Knight

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 05:10 AM

But do you NEED these extracurriculars to get an internship if you have really good grades?
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#12 jeffreyjrose

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 05:13 AM

To answer your question quickly: no, it's not REALLY necessary for you to get involved on campus to get better opportunities/jobs. Does it help? Absolutely.

I can relate to your exact position: I'm a finance/accounting dual major, I was rather shy all throughout my life, and I currently have a 3.95 GPA (junior year in college right now). But if you really want to excel in the work-world, you're going to have to learn skillsets beyond what a textbook/classroom experience can teach you. You'll develop traits such as leadership, teamwork, public speaking, and hierarchy through involvement in clubs. I've been involved with 3 student organizations, and they have all helped me tremendously. Honest.

As a part of the student government for the College of Business, I get to see and help shape the direction of something that directly relates to me. I also get to meet students with like interests, and see some of my classmates outside of the school setting. Getting up in front of the group and talking has also worked wonders for my comfort level in job interviews. Being a part of an advising group for freshman entering the business college has also allowed me to help students who were in my same shoes two years ago. I feel great when I can direct someone in the right direction. I am also part of an ambassador program, which lets me take place in college promotional activities, so that I can network with the faculty and staff. I may rely on these guys in the future for letters of recommendations when I apply for jobs.

Really though, my student involvement boils down to a few key points: 1)resume builders, 2)networking- both making friends and finding professionals in my majors, 3)skillset development, 4)free food, and 5)breaking out of my introverted tendencies.

Your student fees (usually general fees) include a certain allocation towards student groups; that's how they get funding. So essentially, you're paying for these clubs whether or not you're a part of them. Why not use something you pay for? -should make sense to an accounting major, ;).

Hope that helps. If you have any questions regarding specific clubs or how to network, feel free to PM me. I don't check threads regularly, but I do check PMs.

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#13 zionoverfire

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 05:14 AM

But do you NEED these extracurriculars to get an internship if you have really good grades?


Often internships are more about teacher recomendations than just grades, so getting to know 3 important profs. in your department would be a good idea.

#14 Dead of Knight

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 05:21 AM

To answer your question quickly: no, it's not REALLY necessary for you to get involved on campus to get better opportunities/jobs. Does it help? Absolutely.

I can relate to your exact position: I'm a finance/accounting dual major, I was rather shy all throughout my life, and I currently have a 3.95 GPA (junior year in college right now). But if you really want to excel in the work-world, you're going to have to learn skillsets beyond what a textbook/classroom experience can teach you. You'll develop traits such as leadership, teamwork, public speaking, and hierarchy through involvement in clubs. I've been involved with 3 student organizations, and they have all helped me tremendously. Honest.

As a part of the student government for the College of Business, I get to see and help shape the direction of something that directly relates to me. I also get to meet students with like interests, and see some of my classmates outside of the school setting. Getting up in front of the group and talking has also worked wonders for my comfort level in job interviews. Being a part of an advising group for freshman entering the business college has also allowed me to help students who were in my same shoes two years ago. I feel great when I can direct someone in the right direction. I am also part of an ambassador program, which lets me take place in college promotional activities, so that I can network with the faculty and staff. I may rely on these guys in the future for letters of recommendations when I apply for jobs.

Really though, my student involvement boils down to a few key points: 1)resume builders, 2)networking- both making friends and finding professionals in my majors, 3)skillset development, 4)free food, and 5)breaking out of my introverted tendencies.

Your student fees (usually general fees) include a certain allocation towards student groups; that's how they get funding. So essentially, you're paying for these clubs whether or not you're a part of them. Why not use something you pay for? -should make sense to an accounting major, ;).

Hope that helps. If you have any questions regarding specific clubs or how to network, feel free to PM me. I don't check threads regularly, but I do check PMs.

Peace out.


Thank you!!! That helps a lot.

EDIT: I was looking at various business organizations, and I think the Undergraduate Business Women's Assocation might be a decent fit. There aren't TOO many members (and only THREE freshmen!), so it might not be too hard to get a leadership position, and the meetings are only once every other week. Thanks for all the tips, guys.
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#15 jaykrue

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 06:21 AM

Good grades won't matter too much once you've got your foot in the door but if you've never been in the real working world they serve as your first instance of credibility and your resume should reflect that. That said, extra-currics aren't a bad way to show that you're well rounded and capable of working in an organization. If you've got an exec position in your organization, it's also a good leadership display and reflexs nicely to a recruiter. That all said, your GPA won't mean squat once you're in however as I don't know too many employers who care if you got a 'D' in sophomore college english literature 201, especially if you're an accy. major.
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#16 JimmieMac

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 06:39 AM

I guess you should get involved just so you know some people if you ever need a favor in the working world. Or if you need help movin' some heavy shit into your apartment. Or buryin' a body.

#17 vietgurl

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 10:26 AM

I remember that when I was applying for colleges, the fact that I worked full time while going to school worked against me because I didn't have time for any real extra curricular activities. If I'm also working while attending college as a full time student, do I still need that many extra curriculars? I'm hoping to go to med school (yeah...right...not possible with the amount of games I play) and I've always been afraid that working so much might end up counting against me.
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#18 Maklershed

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 12:22 PM

My personal opinion is that its absolutely vital that you get in as many extracurricular activities as you can. And I dont mean intramural dodge ball or something like that. I'm saying get enrolled in an honors society/fraternity, join a club(s) related to your major, get involved in volunteer activities, etc.

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#19 botticus

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 01:23 PM

I didn't bother with too much in the way of extracurriculars, and it doesn't really matter all that much. Honestly its the same as high school activities. Either you do something related to your field so you are involved in it more than just classes, or you just do stuff so it appears to those looking at you that you are a well-rounded person. Even in business, you will generally have to relate to people. Therefore employers would like it if you could show you did something besides sit in your room and study.

It's not at all necessary, but it can be helpful. If for nothing else than avoiding silence when asked in an interview what you did outside of classes.

#20 Ikohn4ever

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 01:46 PM

the thing is having extracurriculars will never hurt you as long as you still do well in school, though I am not saying doing nothing will hurt you but it cant help
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#21 daschrier

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 02:55 PM

NO!! They don't do anything. The most important things in college are, internships, recommendations, and grades. Hell, when I graduated from college most entry level positions were looking for experience already. Therefore the kids who did internships and such while in college already had 1 up on me even though we had all just graduated. Companies these days are less willing to take on someone and train them, they would rather take on someone who has some kind of experience, and your recommendations are necessary for a character reference. Grades just show that you aren't a slacker and can do what is asked of you.
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#22 Reality's Fringe

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 03:00 PM

Depends. I know at my college, the extra currics are pretty limited and completely idiotic. Internships and Community Service (aka Slavery) are way better. I'd also suggest going abroad during the summer or something, you know, to make it seem like you're a "worldly" person(and that's not meant as an insult).
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#23 psiufoxx2

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 03:39 PM

Not as much as you'd think, really.

Honestly just make sure you attach yourself to a professor or two and become intimately involved with their professional career - become a TA, help them with course material, do special projects and independent studies. A good recommendation in a given industry goes a lot further than "Intermural Ultimate Frisbee." The business world is 90% who you know, 10% what you know....

#24 b0bx13

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 03:53 PM

My personal opinion is that its absolutely vital that you get in as many extracurricular activities as you can. And I dont mean intramural dodge ball or something like that. I'm saying get enrolled in an honors society/fraternity, join a club(s) related to your major, get involved in volunteer activities, etc.

I definitely actually had an intramural dodgeball game last night :lol:

#25 evanft

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 03:55 PM

Internships and co-op are the things you should be worried about above all else. Experience will do more for you than any other activity. Shit, even that whole honors things is really a bunch of bullshit. At my school, all it really means is more work in classes that don't relate to your major. Many people who were in the honors program because of this.

Reccomendations are pretty important, too. Many high-level professors know people in the field they teach, so they can help you a lot. Like someone else said, being a TA is a good idea. But these sort of things won't really come up until your about 2 years into your field of study (I mean 2 years from the point you started taking classes that would have fulfilled requirements in your major). But you should definately speak to all your professors as soon as possible to see if they have any summer internships or TA work they can get you.

Basically, anything that doesn't provide you with direct experience in or help you get to know people involved with your field of study should be avoided. Why waste your time with shiity volunteer work when you could be interning at an accounting firm? The volunteer work will make you look like a good person, but the internship will make you look like a good employee. Also, interning at a company now puts you in a great position to be hired by them later.

Man, I wish I had a 3.7 GPA. I was an idiot and went into Pharmacy for 2 semesters before I realized how much I hated it. That D in Microbiology pisses me off. Oh well, I got a 3.75 last semester, and I'm looking at getting a similar GPA this semester, so I'm outpacing my high school grades by a couple years. I love mechanical engineering, and the starting pay is around $50,000-$60,000.

#26 Dead of Knight

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 05:21 PM

The most important things in college are, internships, recommendations, and grades. Hell, when I graduated from college most entry level positions were looking for experience already. Therefore the kids who did internships and such while in college already had 1 up on me even though we had all just graduated. Companies these days are less willing to take on someone and train them, they would rather take on someone who has some kind of experience, and your recommendations are necessary for a character reference. Grades just show that you aren't a slacker and can do what is asked of you.


This is SO TRUE. My boyfriend has a BA in PoliSci (with a ~3.87 GPA), an MA in International Relations, and a JD from the university I am attending right now... and he still cannot find a lawyer job. Why? Because he didn't do any internships (this is what several people, including advisors at law school, have said). Thankfully, things seem to be turning around for him and he might get a lawyer job soon, I sure hope so.
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#27 the_gloaming

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 05:48 PM

All of my friends who have graduated have told me that even their grades don't matter, nor do their degrees -- it's experience in the field. Because of this, an internship is probably a really, really good idea.

Also, if you can get into some kind of leadership position in a club relating to your field, it's a big advantage. For example, my roommate is a Criminal Justice major, he's president of Criminal Justice Club or whatever.

And you don't need to be something like President -- I worked as the Secretary for our club for about a year, and I didn't have the responsibility of actually doing much, but I was exposed to it enough that I understood how everything worked. And that is valuable too.

Whatever you do, don't rely on your degree/grades solely, because they aren't going to be a lot of help once you're out -- get jobs relating to the field, and do things related to it. Get as much professional experience as you can, because that's what recruiters look for.
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#28 ryanbph

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 06:11 PM

internship

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#29 depascal22

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 09:47 PM

Volunteering will look really good to prospective employers. It shows you're well rounded and give a damn about something more than yourself.

#30 jPoD

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 12:36 AM

This is SO TRUE. My boyfriend has a BA in PoliSci (with a ~3.87 GPA), an MA in International Relations, and a JD from the university I am attending right now... and he still cannot find a lawyer job. Why? Because he didn't do any internships (this is what several people, including advisors at law school, have said). Thankfully, things seem to be turning around for him and he might get a lawyer job soon, I sure hope so.


A lot of the problems with finding a job as a lawyer is most places look at where you went. Is OSU Ohio, Oregon or Oklahoma?
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