Gaining extra-curricular experience at university is more important than ever. With so many youngsters and oldsters passing through the university system nowadays grade inflation is becoming an increasing problem. This ultimately means that many employers are looking for that something extra.
Sure, acing every module and leaving university with a first degree honour will stand you in good stead when the time comes to enter the job market. However, with the turbulent nature of the current post graduate job market, simply leaving with a first stamped on your C.V. is not always enough. Potential employers are now, more than ever, looking for a sign that you have a little more than the next person on the list. Realising this, I endeavoured this academic year just gone, to add a few little extras to my personal curriculum vitae. I have to say that for anyone at Leicester University, who is willing to go that extra distance, there are indeed, opportunities awash!
So what did I do?
Well, I began the year by putting myself forward to represent my fellow sociology students. Becoming a course representative was not quite what I had expected, but the experience was valuable, if at times slightly strenuous and frustrating. All the same, it’s over now and I can tick that box and add it to the old C.V.
Along with this, I put myself forward, and landed a position as a student blogger. Not only does this pay (reasonably well), but the task is quite enjoyable; it improves my writing ability and, you guessed it, looks good on the old C.V.
Now, one would imagine that the above would be enough. Not me. Realising that my time here was quickly drawing to a close, I decided to make the most of every chance at something new which came my way. I began to ask around my department for any basic research work that I could do over the summer. Guess what, after asking around on all of two occasions, I landed some. Again, well paid however slightly monotonous and rather head wrecking, but still, looks great on the old C.V.
Surely that’s enough for one student’s C.V.? Nah, better too much than too little I reckon.
So what else could I add to this already brimming amount of experience I have gained over the last eight months? Well, over the last two days I have been working for the Leicester University School and College Services. This work has basically involved attending a handful of mature student forums which have been put on during the Universities open days this week. And what a valuable experience these forums have turned out to be! Meeting ‘mature’, prospective Leicester University students has been not only been a valuable experience, but also extremely insightful. At the same time I kept finding myself excited for them, and ever so slightly jealous of them; their journeys, potentially just beginning. I just hope that those who do decide to take the plunge jump in the right pool; the water is warmest and indeed deepest here at Leicester University.
So as you can see from the above, the opportunities here really do exist for those who are willing to do that little extra, and trust me, it is well worth the effort.