Mastery requires practice. The best way to learn to ride a bike, to play the cello, or to cook dinner is to give it a try. Professors at universities in the United States understand that education is more than studying and test taking. They encourage, even expect students to fully engage with the world outside the classroom. Listening, questioning, clarifying, sharing, collaborating, debating, leadership are critical skills you need to be for success in the job and you can’t learn them from a book.
Successful students in the US spend a significant portion of their time engaging in extracurricular activities. They join or start clubs, participate in campus or community events, run for student leadership office, play on sports teams, start music bands, make art, and start businesses. At the University of Washington Bothell there are many international students who are campus leaders. One great example is Sridarsh Vinnakota. Sri is a senior undergraduate student in Business. He is President of the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity that promotes professionalism, scholarship, community service, and brotherhood. As president he calls and leads meetings, manages a budget, organizes events, and recruits new members.
Like many students studying in the US, Sri is planning to do an internship the year after he graduates. Through personal experience and surveying fellow students he discovered that applying for jobs in the US is different at each company and interview process can be intimidating. To help fellow students navigate the challenges of job searches, he is organizing a job fair with companies who currently employ international students. To host the event he coordinated with people across campus and companies such as Amazon and Physio Control. He reserved space, created an agenda, and designed marketing materials to promote the event.
This type of involvement exemplifies student success on a university campus. Sri developed new skills and has demonstrated his initiative, leadership, communication, and organizational to all the companies he invited to participate. He will have many job offers to consider.