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Student Clubs: A Waste of Time?

By Vickie Chiu

Updated March 17, 2021 Updated March 17, 2021

One of our blog followers put forward a very good question.

“To what extent is it beneficial to be a part of student clubs and societies at university level? Does it help us in securing good jobs?”

We touched upon student clubs and societies in this blog, but never went into too much detail about whether it helps us in securing good jobs. Well, I’ve done a scientific study (asked around the office) to see what other young, recent-ish graduates thought about this.

In my humble opinion, being part of a student clubs or societies will make you seem like a more interesting person. At the end of the day, if you have two identical CVs, and one person seems to have a personality and the other just worked very hard all the time, employers would probably choose the person they’d most want to work with.

Being a member of a society also shows that you can prioritize your work and your hobbies. I was a member of the university volleyball team and I took on the role of club secretary. When I was fresh out of university with very little work experience, I drew my examples from my “work” there.

Richard (content manager)  said…

“No”

Helpful… don’t worry, he’s just being grumpy.

Thomas (blogger and marketing pro for Asia ) said…

“It depends what you do in the club, I was the communications director for the university chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is a large national lobbying group in the states that everyone will recognize, so it’s a talking point that I did their PR, I used to put it on my CV before I was applying to real jobs and people would ask me about it. But if you’re in like chess club, then no, probably not…”

Sorry chess clubbers…

Laura (blogger and writer) said…

“More indirectly, they can show you’ve got skills employers value – such as teamwork, leadership, initiative etc. Or that you’re genuinely interested in a particular sector. Or just that you’re an interesting and well-rounded kind of person – I think most employers do value that!”

Paras (marketing pro for India and Middle East) said…

“Sharing my personal experience, I feel joining these  student clubs / societies does help an individual grow in confidence and also build strong networks. In terms of getting a job because of that, I feel it doesn’t directly give you a job, but in terms of developing the interpersonal skills, making your CV stronger - invariably giving you things to talk about in an interview -  above all you never know if the person you are interviewed by; if he is an alumnus of the club/society/institution you were a part of. It increases your chances to impress the interviewer, and it may make you stand out sometimes for getting the interview call. Sometimes, it could also be because you met someone during one of the activities handled by the society / club that you got offered a job, I’ve seen that too…”

So there you have it.

The general consensus (except for grumpy Richard), is “yes”, it does help so go forth and join, unless you’ve joined the procrastinators anonymous society, you’re not wasting your time! But maybe pick your student clubs wisely if you want it to help with your career.

This article was originally published in July 2012 . It was last updated in March 2021

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