Clubs: Time wasters or resume savers?

Melinda Kauffman

Many of our future goals are determined by the choices we make now. In order to build an effective resume, we try to cram as many activities and leadership positions as we can into our busy schedules. Some debate arises as to whether or not clubs on campus are an effective use of our time. I believe that clubs can be both beneficial and harmful to our experience at W&L.

While joining clubs is a great way to meet people and get involved with things you are passionate about, they can also take away from other areas of your life at W&L such as academics. Joining ten different clubs and barely being able to attend each meeting is not an ideal situation. Instead, try joining one or two, even three clubs and really give them your time and energy. Jobs or internships want to see that you hold positions of leadership in two or three clubs, rather than see that you attended a meeting for ten different clubs.

If you do choose to become involved in clubs, pick ones that you are passionate about. I know this sounds self-explanatory, but if you join the outing club because all of your friends do and you hate the outdoors, you are wasting your time. If you are passionate about community service and want to meet new people, join the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. And if you find that you really enjoy the club, run for a position of leadership. You will get much more out of your club experience if you are involved and can give freely of your time and energy.

Don’t be afraid to go to as many interest meetings as you want. You don’t have to join every club you hear about. Try making a list and then narrowing it down to just a couple of clubs that you could really see yourself invested in. At the end of the day, jobs and internships could care less that you went to a monthly meeting for the biology club if you had no role in it’s performance.

Another great thing about clubs is that they allow you to meet new people. We see the same people on a daily basis due to our schedules and the classes that we take. The cool thing about clubs is that you could have an English major and a Pre-Med person in the same club working alongside one another. It is not often that people of differing course studies get to interact and work collaboratively on something. Jobs and internships like to see that you not only invest your time in your major field of study, but that you branch out and contribute to all kinds of activities.

While joining a club is not a sure answer to landing that job you want, it may give you an edge over other candidates. Being a qualified candidate is more than just your grades and your GPA. A good candidate has their hands in many different areas of life. Don’t spread yourself too thin trying to build a good resume. Rather, hone in on several areas that will allow you to maximize what you are good at. If you are a good leader, try running for the president of an organization or the head of a committee.        Whatever it is you like to do, do it and don’t worry about wasting your time. If you find something you are truly passionate about, you will make it work for your benefit. Over time it will become more than something to put on a resume. It will become something that will set you up for a lifetime of success. The things you do now that you are passionate about will ultimately contribute to your future success in the workplace and beyond.