The skills you’ll acquire throughout your academic life offer more to your future career than you might realize! As a student, you develop technical skills related to your major. Engaging in a wide range of experiences outside of the classroom will help you build well-rounded transferrable skills to enhance that academic work and make you stand out from the crowd.
By reflecting on some of the following questions, you can start to figure out what types of meaningful experiences could complement the academic field you are pursuing:
- What do you consider your overall strengths?
- What are some interests you have outside of your academic major?
- How would you rate your communication skills?
- Do you have any leadership experience?
- Do you enjoy working in groups or by yourself?
- Do you consider yourself creative?
- What’s your approach to problem-solving?
- How have you adapted to online learning?
Join a student organization - Besides being a meaningful way to connect with your peers over shared interests, being involved in a student organization is a great way to take the initiative on projects you care about and work together outside of the classroom. You can also add your voice to the community and find your place within our campus community. This is also a great way to stay connected virtually with campus life initiatives!
Connect with the Career Center - Gaining real-world experience through internship, research, or a co-op experience is one of the best ways to make yourself a competitive candidate for full-time jobs and graduate school after you graduate. The Career Center offers career advising and counseling, networking events, on-campus recruiting, on-campus interviews, career, professional skills education, and applied learning opportunities (internships, co-ops, and research) to help prepare you to envision your possible future career opportunities!
Consider adding a minor to your degree - Complementing your primary major with a minor or certificate program can be a great way to add extra knowledge and new skills to your bachelor’s degree. This can also be a great way to explore other personal interests you might have, as well as make you unique in the eyes of future employers. Exploring programs like foreign language studies or entrepreneurship can be great additions to any major. Check out all the possibilities and talk them over with your advisor!
Get involved with Service Learning and Community Engagement through the Shriver Center – Ever want to apply what you’re learning outside of the classroom? The Shriver Center has you covered! Through its Service-Learning and Community partnerships, you have the opportunity to step outside the boundaries of the classroom and experience the real world. Even throughout this pandemic, the Shriver Center’s operations and best practices continue to emerge and transform so that the UMBC community can continue to serve organizations through capacity-building projects remote and digital delivery of services.
Consider becoming a student worker – UMBC has lots of job opportunities for students, even remotely! This can be a great way to apply what you’ve learned at UMBC to help other students as well as gain useful job experience yourself! From tutoring to working in various offices around campus, be sure to check out UMBCworks and the Federal Work-Study job list for campus job postings throughout the year!
Share your research - All current undergraduates who have conducted research, scholarship, or creative work in the last year may apply to present their results at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD). This year URCAD is celebrating its 25th anniversary and will be held online again April 19-23rd. You will be able to view presentations, watch films, see videos of dance and music performances, view artwork, and interact with presenters during the asynchronous event. Applications are due by Monday, February 22nd, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to share your work with our UMBC community!
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about all the different experiences UMBC has to offer and how they might benefit your overall success!
What experiences at UMBC have helped you build your skill set? Comment below!