Learning comes in many forms, but experiential learning is one of the most beneficial. This is why many universities include an internship or co-op in the curriculum. But, as anyone who has ever done an internship while also taking classes, internships aren’t always the most convenient addition to a student’s schedule.

That’s where on-campus experiences come in. You may be a club leader, officer of a campus organization or even working on campus. Regardless of your role or title, you will be able to challenge yourself and achieve more, which will pave the way for a bright career.

Apply yourself in a new environment.

In college, you take classes that pertain to your interests – that is to say classes in your major or others that you find appealing enough to sign up for – so you feel inclined to apply yourself in the classroom. Applying yourself refers to being present and doing the work well and on time. By the time you graduate college, you spend approximately 17 years in a classroom of some type. When you enter the workforce, there is no classroom in the classical sense. You need to stretch yourself and show future employers that you can work diligently in a new environment.

Showcase your entrepreneurial ability.

Most leadership positions call for coming up with and executing new ideas. Whether the organization you work for is brand new or has been in place since the university was founded, you will most likely have to make some changes and see them through. In order to do that, you have to be driven, creative, committed and passionate. These are all qualities of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial ability is the catalyst for innovation. Innovation is what keeps the world moving forward. I obviously skipped a couple steps in between, but you see what I mean. By the end of you college career, you’ll not only be able to claim that you have the ability to be innovative, but you’ll have the proof.

Make long-lasting connections.

Freshman year, you probably attended your college’s club or leadership fair. Most likely, every organization that was competing for your attention, name and email address advertised that you will be able to meet new people and make friends. This is true. But, even more than just a chance for socializing, you will be able to make long-term connections. They come in many forms: colleagues, advisors, and bosses. These people you work with every day/week/month/semester become mentors and part of your professional support system once you graduate. Sometimes, they develop into connections while you’re still in school. Save their contact information and cherish their Facebook friend requests because one day you’ll think “I wonder what they are doing right now?”

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