Asked by Evan on August 27, 2017
Answered by Dean, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on August 29, 2017
As you already stated, an internship is probably one of the most important aspect of your college education. Glad to see you have done your homework!
As far as any additional co-curricular activities, it is not as important for the what it is, but rather what did you do. Pick an organization that interests you, supports a cause important to you, or supports a community. Simply being a member is good, but being an active participant and/or in a leadership role is most beneficial for you as well as the organization. Employers look for someone who will roll us their sleeves and make a difference whether it is in their field of study or giving back to society. So serve on that committee and run for that office!
Best of Luck!
Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on August 30, 2017
There are no particular organizations that are better than another necessarily. What is important is what you do and how well you do in the activities that you choose. First and foremost an internship in the career field you are most interested in after graduation is invaluable. More than one is all the better, either with the same company or a few different ones to provide you with a bit of a different experience.
Next look for extra-curricular leadership roles. I say leadership because the best activities are those where you do more than just show up. Find what causes/interests you are most passionate about and get out there an get involved. You do not have to be an executive member, but you do need to do something like chair an event or committee, lead a fundraiser or membership drive. Something that is more than showing up and enjoying the festivities that someone else has worked so hard to put together.
If you do have a very specific industry in an industry or profession look for those organizations either with student chapters at your school or see if you can get involved with a professional organization locally that would encourage your participation. National organizations usually have student memberships as well that will allow you to join for free or at a very little cost. You can also get involved with them, often times now in a virtual capacity that will allow you to participate and lead from the comfort of your campus. Best of all they also encourage involvement with their annual conferences.
Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on September 6, 2017
Great question! I don’t know that I would say that any co-curricular activities outrank or are better than others, but simply that one should be engaged outside of academia in some way. Recruiters are often looking to see that a student has had some kind of experience outside of the classroom – whether that be a part time job, sports, student groups, internships, and the list goes on. As Recruiters, we’re aware that not every student can do everything. Some students have more time to join student groups and participate in internships while some others have a responsibility to work to support themselves. With that, I would encourage any student to be as involved as their situation allows. As listed above, I believe that part time jobs, student group involvement, sports, internships, and fraternity/sorority work are all great options, but certainly not an exhaustive list. As an additional layer, Recruiters are always looking for advanced involvement in the form of leadership in any of the previous as well!