University is supposed to prepare you for the real world and - gulp! - a proper job. But it’s also meant to be fun!
Luckily, there is a way to combine the two, by joining some university societies. Not only are you guaranteed to make new friends and great memories, you’ll also gain loads of new skills which you can impress future interviewers with.
1. Young Enterprise Scheme
Pretend you’re the next Apprentice and come up with a business that would blow Lord Sugar away. You’ll get a unique insight into how the world of work actually works, and you’ll gain the sort of experience and skills that employers love.
Best of all, you could come up with an idea that you could turn into a real business. No scary job interviews, no being stuck making tea rounds… and “CEO” next to your name has a great ring to it!
It doesn’t matter which sport you choose; employers will be impressed by the commitment you showed to your team. Playing a sport means training hard, being able to bounce back from defeat and trying your utmost to win. Bosses will sit there and think you’ll bring the same attitude to their workplace.
You’ll also have a literal example of being a team player. Well, ahem, played.
Essentially, every job interview is a debate where you take the position “I am the best person in the world for this role.” As a DebateSoc alumni, you’ll be super-used to thinking up persuasive arguments and fielding unexpected questions.
You’ll also learn to eliminate “umms” “errs” and “like” from your vocabulary. Trust us, employers, like, really, um, hate that.
4. Student Newspaper
Even if you’re not applying for a writer role, you’ll soon discover that loads of jobs want their candidates to have great writing skills. Marketing campaigns, for example, require lots of copy which fits the company style, and client-facing roles will expect you to be able to write professional, engaging emails to customers. Besides, being able to whip out a writing portfolio is an impressive indication of your hobbies and interests.
You’ll also be able to boast about your research, editorial and creativity skills. In short, you’ll look like a pro.
Being questioned by an interviewer in a suit is scary. Standing on stage in front of people trying to be funny is scarier. If you can do the latter, then job interviews will seem a breeze.
Learning the tips & tricks of improv means you’ll be able to think on your feet and come up with great answers to even the most surprising questions.
Every university has its share of weird and wonderful societies. Our personal favourites? The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Society, the Curry Appreciation Society and QuidditchSoc.
Half the battle with any job application is to stand out from the crowd. Having something a little bit unusual up your sleeve will catch your interviewer’s attention, create a talking point, and make you memorable. So grab your broomstick - it’s helping your career!
Beth Leslie writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in helping candidates find their dream internship. Check them out if you’re looking for graduate jobs London or to hire graduates!