Sponsored content, written by HEAR

Extra (Curricular) fun

When you arrive as a Fresher you’ll find a wealth of opportunities open to you – something you may never have access to in quite the same way again. Getting involved in activities outside of your course, whether it’s volunteering, sports or student societies, can help you to meet new people, develop new skills and add greater value to your overall university experience.

This side of a university experience won’t appeal to everyone, but if it does then the HEAR could help you showcase your achievement and engagement outside academia, something that can be incredibly powerful when applying for a job. Any activities that meet your university’s criteria for section 6.1 (where your extra-curricular activities are stored) will be added to your HEAR.

“Some of our most successful employees have captained a rugby team or been president of the students’ union. One of the biggest frustrations we have is meeting students with the same CVs and answers — as if they have all been prepped in the same way. At interview we try to assess behaviour as much as any work experience to give us a sense of the future a candidate might have with our company.” Katy Smith, resourcing partner, Endsleigh Insurance Services quoted in The Telegraph

Your university will set the criteria for a qualifying activity, so you’ll need to make sure you check beforehand as just being a member of a society or a sports team probably won’t count towards section 6.1 in your HEAR. Whatever the activity, the chances are that you’ll enjoy getting involved in something outside of your studies. The HEAR can help to showcase your most prominent successes and highlight key information that employers are looking for.

The value of volunteering

Volunteering can offer an extremely rewarding experience, giving you the chance to give your time and skills back to the community, university and union. Volunteering can help you develop practical and transferable skills which could help with your own personal development as well as helping you put your best foot forward in front of prospective employers.

The value of sports

Getting involved with a university sports team will not only help you to work off any Friday night takeaways, it could also give you the chance to meet new people, challenge yourself and develop the skills and stamina that often come with taking part in sports. Taking a position of responsibility could also help you develop all important leadership skills.

The value of student societies

The difficulty with student societies is actually trying to choose which ones to sign up to and then committing to them - there will undoubtedly be lots on offer! Finding things that interest you and people that share your interests is always a great experience. Turning your passions into something more by taking a leading role in a student society can give you invaluable skills and experience in leadership, organisational skills and team working.

What if I don’t want some of my extra-curricular activities included?

Apparently the ‘Harry Potter and Gin Society’ is real. You might want to shout about your involvement ... you might not. You should have the right to hide a particular extra-curricular activity if you want to.

#HEARmeOUT is a new campaign being run by the Higher Education Academy to celebrate students’ involvement in LGBT related activities by showing the value of talking about them positively with employers. There are lots of employers out there who are likely to be really positive about your engagement with LGBT and the skills and knowledge you have developed as a result of being involved. #HEARmeOUT offers students, universities, sector bodies and businesses alike a platform to open up these discussions.