Written by Matthew Segal:
If any of you know about or are a part of a co-op program, you understand the structure of substituting work terms for semesters at a University. At the Asper School of Business, a student is required to take part in a minimum of 3 co-op work terms.
Typically, your first year in the Actuarial program is your second year in a University. The amount of extracurricular activities you take part, at this point, is somewhat lacking. The senior actuarial students told me that if I landed one job interview (let alone a placement) during my first year in the program, I would be extremely fortunate. During my first year, I had the pleasure of interacting with many company representatives and it seemed like the most important question they had was ,“What do you do, other than study?”
I surveyed a few older co-op students who are active members in various student clubs, and they told me that the number of interviews they attended had grown substantially since they began participating in events and getting involved in clubs.
An article on the blog a few months ago mentioned how employers are looking for people skills, and I agree to an extent – because employers are looking for well-rounded (people skills are included) individuals. Having experience within student clubs was the best thing that happened to me. I expanded my network, got to enjoy a lot of exciting socials and most importantly – I learned a lot. If this by itself does not sell you on adding some extracurricular activities to your schedule/resume, then know that there is a strong correlation between the amount of extracurricular activities you are involved in and how attractive you are to employers.
I realize we are all studying hard, and finding that extra time to do something else is tough when all you want to do is sit around and enjoy some quality time with the TV. But hard workers reap the rewards, so if you can make some time to join a club…DO IT! You will not be disappointed.