Getting Involved in College

Employers seek well-rounded job candidates for their workforce. Students learn various skills inside and outside of the classroom during their college years. UConn has so much to offer beyond academics. Below are some examples of opportunities to explore.

Clubs & Organizations

Get involved on campus by joining student organizations. Meet alumni and businesses in a particular field. UConn offers over 200 clubs and organizations in business, healthcare, and STEM fields including marketing, engineering, medical, finance, and real estate.

Members can learn valuable teamwork and collaboration skills while working toward a shared vision. They may also work through interpersonal conflicts when members have differing opinions. Consider taking on a leadership role initiating, delegating, and motivating team members to achieve a common goal. Develop communication skills by volunteering to be secretary and taking notes and reporting to organizations. Or serve as treasurer to manage money and fundraise for events.

Being part of organizations can help expand peer connections, which could translate to career relationships down the road. For a complete listing of organizations available on campus visit UConn Organizations.

Community Service & Service learning

UConn offers a listing of University Community Outreach Programs. The page highlights where students can get real-world experience, gain and share empathy and compassion, and open student’s minds about the global community. Participating in service projects may provide a new perspective about new cultures and different backgrounds. Active citizenship can include volunteering in the community or with a non-profit organization.

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning consists of activities such as internships, co-ops, research, clinicals, part-time jobs, fellowships, externships, job shadowing, micro internships, entrepreneurship, and more.

Internships – NACE survey indicates that “students with a paid internship received nearly 50 percent more job offers than those who had either an unpaid internship or no internship at all.” Further, the survey concluded, “paid interns expect to make $10,000 more than both unpaid and never interns.”

Co-Ops – students take a semester off, but keep their student status, to join the workforce full-time.

Externships – temporary job-shadowing programs that last anywhere from an afternoon to a few weeks. Set up an externship over spring break and get an introduction to potential career fields.

 Micro-internships – short-term project-based assignments. They can last a couple of weeks up to months.

 Entrepreneurship – UConn’s Werth Institute NetWerx program helps students apply an entrepreneurial mindset to career exploration and personal development. Visit UConn Netwerx to explore UConn’s Entrepreneurship.

 To learn more visit UConn’s Experiential Learning page.

 Additional Ideas

Outside of volunteering and joining organizations, there are several other ways to get involved. Here are some ideas to begin brainstorming possibilities:

  •   Become a tutor
  •   Offer to be a note taker
  •   Apply for student employment in a specific field
  •   Work on a project
  •   Build a prototype
  •   Write for The Daily Campus (UConn’s Newspaper)
  •   Create a Website
  •   Design a marketing piece
  •   Write a computer program
  •   Draft a business plan

While studying and maintaining strong grades are extremely important to attaining a degree, getting involved in college helps students stand apart from other job candidates. Take time today to discover new interests, gain important career skills, and make new connections.

The staff at the Center for Career Development can help you explore options for getting involved. Schedule time to meet with a career coach today! 

By Desiree Martino
Desiree Martino Career Coach