While students spend much of their time studying subjects within their own majors, the most important lessons don’t exist in a textbook. Outside of the classroom, college presents many fantastic opportunities to pursue your interests and develop invaluable life skills. For many students, college is where you gain the knowledge, attributes, and wisdom of a good leader. This might mean improving your communication skills, learning creative problem-solving solutions, or discovering a talent and passion for your field of choice. Great leaders continue to learn throughout their lives, but learning how to develop leadership skills in college will create a solid foundation that will serve you for years to come.
Pursue Your Interests
You can’t be an effective leader if you aren’t passionate about what you do. That’s why it’s important to pursue leadership lessons and opportunities within your interests. You can join organizations like Greek life or service sororities to gain a wide range of skills—especially when you take on responsibilities such as managing a volunteer project or running for an elected position. You’ll also be able to find opportunities within your major, such as leading tutoring sessions or study groups. These smaller roles will give you an introduction to the qualities you need to take on bigger responsibilities, such as becoming a research project leader. As you explore more of these roles and challenges, you’ll continue to build transferable skills that will help you in and out of leadership positions throughout the rest of your career.
Find Jobs Around Campus
If you’re wondering how to develop leadership skills in college and don’t know where else to start, try looking for a job around campus. Many university jobs require leadership skills. For example, orientation leaders must know how to communicate, answer questions, and keep track of their own small groups. Resident assistants are leaders within their dorms who need to be trustworthy, fair, and able to resolve conflicts. Pursuing leadership roles like these also means you’ll be working with some of the most important leaders on campus—such as recruitment managers and resident directors—so you’ll be able to learn from their examples as well.