|An important part of preparing to enter the professional world is acquiring experience. Through this, you develop related, "transferable" skills; gain self-understanding; and clarify your interests. You also become a better leader and team member, and you practice your interpersonal skills.|
Experience gives you material to draw on when you try to describe the relevance of your background to a potential employer or grad school. Any experience is better than none, but typically you get more benefit from putting in longer hours and from doing tasks that are related to your goals, as the scoring guidelines indicate below.
Quantifying Your Experience Outside the Classroom
(If completing this on a phone, hold it sideways to access the scoring boxes.)
Step 1: In the boxes below, list all of your non-classroom experience, internships, summer jobs, student work, athletics, volunteering, externships, extracurricular activities, clubs, etc.
Step 2: Assign points for hours: which is closest to your total number of hours in each activity for one year?
- <10 hours = 1 point
- 20 hours = 2 points
- 80 hours = 3 points
- 160+ hours = 4 points
Step 3: Assign points for value based on the skills you learned and the insight you gained:
- The skills I learned were unrelated to my interests, and I learned nothing helpful about myself = 1 point
- The skills I learned were unrelated to my interests, but I did gain insight about my work preferences = 3 points
- I developed skills I hope to use in my future work = 5 points
- I developed skills I hope to use in my future work and gained insight about my work preferences = 8 points
Step 4: Find your score in the "How did you do?" section below.