Thinking about You … and Your Resume October 1st, 2009 | No Comments

I talk with LOTS of students in high schools and at conferences… and I always hear one particular question, though it’s asked in various ways:

  • How many activities should I be involved in?
  • Isn’t doing six, seven, or eight extracurriculars a good thing?  Doesn’t it show my commitment?
  • Should I remain on the sports team or on the school newspaper or in three clubs, even if my grades are slipping (because I don’t have enough energy and time for homework by the time I get home)?

I’d like to ask a different question.  My real query to all these students is the same:  What are your values and how are you living them?  For me, involvement in my work and my play are always a reflection of my values/what I think is important.

I ask these questions, to guide the students toward their own answers about how much involvement is “just right”

  • Are all of your activities a match for your values?
  • What is your motivation around being involved in each and every activity?
  • How many activities can you truly devote your energy to-over time and with increasing levels of responsibility/commitment?
  • What does being involved in many activities say about you?  (Are you involved in so many activities to impress/build your resume)?  Do you think that admissions personnel seek students with many activities or those who are very engaged in several to which can truly contribute…

I know that when I’m doing alumni interviews for Clark University, I am looking for depth and not breadth of involvement.

These are questions each student needs to wrestle with… getting clear about who you are and what you value will also help you when writing your essays and responding to interview questions.

Who are you?

What’s important to you?

How does it show up in your life?

PS:  Here’s a photo from ten days ago… I volunteered my time to train the mentors of  All Kinds of Girls.  The AKOG program brings girls 9-12 years old from the Worcester community to the Clark campus for mentoring by female undergraduate Clark students on Saturdays during the academic year. The workshop addressed self esteem issues, girls’ development, and how to be great mentors. It was a fabulous session!

All Kinds of Girls Mentor Training Session '09

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