Extra-curricular and voluntary activities
Many employers are keen to see what kind of things you have done outside your degree revealing something about you, your interests and your motivations. This is where extra-curricular activities come in - the kind of activities that you participate in out of interest but help you learn new skills and gain valuable experience at the same time. These include:
- clubs and societies on campus, many organised through the Students’ Union (SU). These might be sporting, cultural, or political or maybe linked to a particular interest such as the environment, business or languages.
- voluntary activities in the local community such as providing support in local schools or helping at a daycare centre. There is probably an agency on campus that has links with local community groups so check this out with the SU or careers service.
- opportunities in your department to get involved, for example, as a course representative or a mentor to younger students. Talk to your personal tutor about any possibilities in this area.
You may already be involved in these types of activity when you are back at home in the holidays or you may have family responsibilities that you could also talk about as examples of skills and experience that you have.
Try to do something that you are interested in and will enjoy; that way you will learn more from the experience and show more commitment and motivation. Remember also that this is the type of activity that you can record on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR); ask your personal tutor for details.
Further help & information
Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS):
Journey to Work DVD (ask your careers service how you can view this)
- Sports club helped me achieve career ambition
- Volunteering helped me get a taste for work
- Internships helped me develop teamwork and leadership skills
- Extra-curricular activities gave me experience to find a job
- Working abroad for a year
- Think about career options straight away
- Year abroad helped to develop my career idea
- Applying for graduate jobs early really paid off
- Developed personal skills while volunteering
- Careers fairs provide a great opportunity to talk to employers
- Subject department helped organise summer internship
- Talking to people helped me understand more about the job market
- Society role enhanced career prospects