How to Make the Most of Your Student Leadership Position

Are you a rising leader on campus, or in your community? Need inspiration for overcoming challenges, inside and outside of the office? Join us for Speak Out: Ladies in Leadership on March 22 6:30-8:30pm, where you’ll hear #LadyBosses from companies like R/GA, DraftKings Inc., and more speak about finding their voice in the workplace, tips that lead them to success, and how they worked their way to the top. Learn more here: findspark.com/event/speak-out-ladies-leadership



With fall right around the corner, it’s almost time for a new semester, which means classes, studying and new ways to get involved on campus. As outgoing vice president of one of the largest student organizations at my alma mater, Hofstra University, I know first-hand how rewarding campus involvement can be. Whether you are thinking about running for a position in a student organization or already have one, it’s important to realize that the experience is going to be what you make of it.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of your student leadership position and ensure that you have a truly great experience:

Find the Balance
With so many student organizations on campus, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with options. While you might want to be involved in as much as possible, it’s important to remember not to bite off more than you can chew. By dedicating yourself to one or two positions that you are really passionate about, you will have the chance to make more of an impact. Plus, this will make finding the balance between school, campus activities and your social life so much easier. Spreading yourself too thin never works for anyone and leads to unnecessary stress on both yourself and your team.

Be Innovative & Take Initiative
As a student leader three out of my four years at Hofstra, I can’t tell you how many students I worked with who put in the minimum amount of effort and nothing more. In order to get the most out of your leadership experience, it is important to be dedicated and think outside the box instead of sticking to the status quo. New ideas for club recruitment, events and activities will freshen up your club’s image and attract attendees and new members, increasing your chances of success. Taking the initiative to fix an inefficient procedure or come up with a new idea for a campus event will make you stand out and gives you something to talk about in interviews because it demonstrates a proactive spirit.

Don’t Get Discouraged
Just like life, your time as a student leader is not going to be perfect. You are going to hit many bumps along the way, but how you react to them is important. Maybe your event wasn’t successful, you didn’t get the budget you needed, or someone didn’t like your idea. It might be easy to feel defeated and give up, but don’t! Instead, use that roadblock as motivation to work even harder to achieve your goals. When my organization didn’t get any budget for our annual spring music festival, Hofstra Music Fest, our team was disappointed but we didn’t let that setback stop us. Instead, we dedicated our efforts to finding money from other sources, including sponsorships and donations, and successfully raised more than enough money to put on the event.

And most importantly:

Take Your Position Seriously & Work Hard
Not everyone has the chance to be a student leader, so be sure to take full advantage of the opportunity. These positions are a great way to get non-traditional experience for a future internship or job, and set you apart from other candidates if you can effectively talk about what you did and how you made a difference. With hard work comes success, and people will take notice. I treated my role as vice president like it was a job, and dedicated myself to making the club and our events a success. My experiences as a student leader helped me secure two internships and my first job here at FindSpark, and I was even named Hofstra’s Most Inspiring Student Leader of 2016 because of my hard work throughout the year.

Whether you are club president, treasurer or even social media chair, your experience is only going to be as good as the effort you put into the position. Implementing some of these tips will ensure that you have a rewarding, fulfilling experience as a student leader, making it more than just a title on a resume.

Have any other great tips for student leaders? Share with us in the comments.


Are you a rising leader on campus, or in your community? Need inspiration for overcoming challenges, inside and outside of the office? Join us for Speak Out: Ladies in Leadership on March 22 6:30-8:30pm, where you’ll hear #LadyBosses from companies like R/GA, DraftKings Inc., and more speak about finding their voice in the workplace, tips that lead them to success, and how they worked their way to the top. Learn more here: findspark.com/event/speak-out-ladies-leadership

 

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