We know many of you will be thinking about your career path and next steps post-graduation. But we’re here to remind you that you probably already have lots of transferable skills and experience at your disposal. In this case – we’re especially talking about those of you on a committee.
As a committee member, you’ll be continually honing those high-level skills which prospective employers will want to see. So, we’d recommend keeping a log of the challenges you face, problems you solve, and knowledge you develop during this time. The challenges that are thrown at you as a committee member can form the basis of answers to typical interview questions, and reflect the qualities employers are looking for.
Here are some examples of skills employers may be looking for and how being on committee can demonstrate these:
- Critical thinking and problem solving:
Committee members will have to think quickly to solve problems that may crop up, whether it be tickets not selling for an event, a speaker cancelling at the last minute, or financial concerns for the society or sport. The day-to-day life of a committee member shows resilience and the ability to use your own initiative to solve problems.
- Teamwork and collaboration:
Committees at UoB have at least 3 members, so this demonstrates your ability to work together as a team to put on events, activities, and pass the society on to future students. This experience will signal you as a team player, highlight your adaptability and provide examples of how well you work in a collaborative environment.
Within these roles you will have to remain respectful and professional when there are differing views and disagreements as to the best ways forward. Beyond internal discussions, often committee members will liaise with academics at the University (and externals), coordinate with full time staff at the Guild of Students or UB Sport, communicate with external speakers, speak to the managers of venues they wish to hire and navigate a whole host of scenarios that require a high level of professionalism.
Choosing to run for a committee position shows an initial sense of self assurance and leadership, and comfortability putting yourself forward. This can be crucial to set you aside in the workplace, and the application/interview process of finding a job. Committee members for sports and societies must take initiative and be accountable. This lets an employer know that you’re the type of person to seek out challenges and projects. Great leaders are also organised, focused, and punctual.
- Strong work ethic, commitment and motivation:
Undertaking the responsibilities of a committee member alongside your studies demonstrates a particular motivation to succeed, and this willingness to take on additional optional work and responsibilities is reflective of a student’s strong work ethic. Showing these values to an employer can make you a more desirable candidate, and let them know that you are reliable, dedicated, and disciplined.
- Communication skills – both oral and written
As we already mentioned, your time on committee helps shape you as an effective communicator. Whether this be in-person to members attending your events or at committee meetings, or written, through email and social media, committee members develop their communication skills to work effectively in any workplace and with any colleagues. You just need to be able to communicate this skill to an employer!
So, as we mentioned, you’re likely on your way to developing a fantastic variety of skills to boost your employability!
In the next blog post we will be focusing on key points you can use to help you write a successful and standout CV, which will highlight the skills you have developed and experience you have gained.
All the best
Ness (Education Officer) and Izzy (Activities and Employability Officer)