Many high school seniors think that they need to be involved in a plethora of extracurricular activities and need to participate in school-sponsored clubs or organizations in order to “grab” the attention of university and college admissions officials.
While that is important, you can still “grab” the admissions officials’ attention by having a job, starting your own business, or even having a specific hobby.
In a recent article by Brianna Boyington, she suggests that if you do work, have a business, or have an interesting hobby, you should definitely express this on your application, as it might set you apart from the other applicants.
Boyington says that if you do something that highlights your individuality, personality, and passion, you need to explain it on your application because the experts recommend that you take every available opportunity to express who you really are.
Al Nunez, director of undergraduate admissions at Illinois Institute of Technology, says, according to the article, “Applying to a university is your time to brag about yourself. Talk about all the things that you’ve done, including jobs.”
Boyington adds that explaining your hobbies in your college application can also help officials recognize valuable traits that aren’t revealed in a high school transcript. She mentions that something like entrepreneurship in high school will show you are a leader who takes actions, something most colleges value.
Nunez also says, “In many ways starting a band or starting a business says a lot about the student–it shows that they have initiative and those are the types of skills that we like to see in students and the types of students that we like to see on campus.”
If you weren’t involved at school because you had to work to support your family, you should definitely explain all of your work responsibilities, any leadership positions you have at your job, and if you were promoted.
Boyington quoted Kasey Urquidez, dean of undergraduate admissions at the University of Arizona, as saying, “[Working] helps us to see the kind of person that they are and so we value that work experience as much as we do other things that they might be doing.”
If you do work, experts say you may want to get your letter of recommendation from your employer which can help validate your influence and contributions as an employee.
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