How Extracurricular Clubs Lead To Careers

By Erika Hanson | Published

college clubs

It is hard to know what you want to do with the rest of your life by the time you graduate high school. Because of this, it is no wonder that the majority of all college students end up switching college majors at some point in their college experience. It could also be a key factor as to why 30% of college freshmen never end up returning to college. To make the process of finding a career that best suits students’ desires, college clubs may help.

US News recently reported just how college clubs might make the process of finding the right-fitting career easier for students to discover. The publication believes that extracurricular activities that a college student participates in can have major impacts on a student’s career after college. To this point, the report looks to the plethora of clubs and organizations colleges across the nation offer.

After-school clubs might be a regular part of life for many high school students, but at the college level, college clubs seem nearly limitless. Even extremely small colleges that enroll fewer students than some high schools do tend to have vastly more options for extracurriculars. Carleton College is a small college in Northfield, Minnesota. The private institute only enrolls about 2,000 students a year, but they offer more than 200 clubs. At large universities like UC San Diego, the sky’s the limit. This California college offers more than 500 college clubs and organizations.

With that many options, there is surely something to arouse every student’s curiosity. From performance arts, politics, sports, community service, student publications, cultural identity, and religion or spirituality, there is something for everyone. Brian McEuen, a graduate of UC San Diego suggests that students try out different college clubs during their first year, and attempt to get out of their comfort zone.

McEuen was one such student who ended up switching his major and credits it to his exploration of college clubs. He started out as a premed majoring student, with a passion for volleyball. But after being quickly cut from the team, he began to navigate the vast array of organizations the university offered.

After exploring college club options, McEuen landed in student government. He said that the student government owns on-campus businesses, and by his junior year, he launched a business of his own on campus selling shirts and accessories. It piqued his interest in entrepreneurship, and he ended up shifting majors and receiving an MBA at Northwestern University. Today, he has his own business start-up venturing into online apparel. 

college clubs

Another way in which college clubs can aid students in their after-grad search for a career is that student organizations offer plenty of networking opportunities. As the saying goes, it’s not what you know… it’s who you know, these types of clubs can offer college students the ability to build a name for themselves. Similarly, extracurriculars look great on resumes and applications. When these soft skills are added to resumes they are proven to increase an applicant’s chance of getting noticed by recruiters. 

There is no guarantee that participating in college clubs will immediately shine a path to ideal future careers, but it is definitely something that can aid uncertain students towards their desired careers. If anything, they empower students with team-building skills and a chance for additional networking. At a time when college and its worth are under extreme scrutiny, a look into this theory is worth a shot for students.