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
Use the form below, provide descriptions of all your activities and experiences and then select the average number of hours participated along with an assessment of any skills or insights gained.
Activity or Experience: List all of your non-classroom experience, internships, summer jobs, student work, athletics, volunteering, externships, extracurricular activities, clubs, etc.
Estimated Time: Select the option that best reflects the total number of hours you gave to the activity in one year.
Value for Future: Select the option that best describes the value of the skills you learned and the insight you gained in terms of your future goals.
Poor - The skills I learned were unrelated to my interests, and I learned nothing helpful about myself.
Insightful - The skills I learned were unrelated to my interests, but I did gain insight about my work preferences.
Helpful - I developed skills I hope to use in my future work.
Valuable - I developed skills I hope to use in my future work and gained insight about my work preferences.
Tips to Build Your Experience:
- Join and participate actively in clubs and activities that interest you.
- Do not waste any opportunity: volunteer if you cannot find a paid job, or volunteer at work to do extra tasks that you find interesting if you do not like your main job. Anything can teach you about yourself and many learning experiences become good stories in interviews.
- Ask for additional responsibility in your activities and jobs.
- Find an internship. Visit the Office of Experiential Learning or the BSP to get help.
- Use the Career Center's brochure Tips for Finding Student Employment and Local Jobs.