5 Tips on How To Develop Your Leadership Skills at University

Scholarship Guide leadership skills

These days, graduating with top grades is not enough to ensure success in your career. For a variety of jobs, the ability to lead well is highly valuable and can help you rise through the ranks. If you don’t feel very confident about your leadership qualities now, a great place to develop them is at university.

In university, learning doesn’t just come from books and lecture notes. The campus is brimming with exciting activities where you can build public speaking, problem-solving skills, and much more. You get plenty of opportunities to lead and guide your peers and community, some taking you outside your comfort zone. Here are 5 tips on how to take advantage of these opportunities and bring out your inner leader before you even enter the workplace.

1. Volunteer for Causes You Care About

Apart from showing recruiters that you are passionate about giving back to the community, volunteering also helps you pick up skills that all leaders should have. Volunteering offers the chance for you to work on your teamwork and communication skills, and it teaches you humility and empathy when interacting with other people.

You also get to meet new people who share your interests and develop a network. Be sure to bring passion to your service too. Find a cause or project you are genuinely enthusiastic about and try to extend this attitude to all other projects you take on.

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2. Join the Executive Committee of Your Club

If you still need to gain more experience before trying out for President of your CCA, being part of its executive committee (ExCo) is a great step to take in that direction. Whether your club is sports, performing arts or robotics, they all have an ExCo with various kinds of roles and responsibilities. ​

Whatever your position, it will improve your ability to collaborate with others and make decisions as a team. It’s also an excellent chance to learn from others who have more experience in leadership.

3. Speak Up More in Class

The classroom also offers many occasions where you can make your voice heard as a confident and eloquent leader. Public speaking is scary for many of us, but it prepares you for meetings where your future employers and colleagues will expect you to talk and contribute. ​Start by volunteering in class! Additionally, you can be more participative in group projects.

Almost every course in university includes at least one group project, and most of the projects require a presentation before the rest of the class. ​Take the lead during group presentations. Hone your public speaking skills and the more convincing and charismatic you will become.

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4. Go For Higher-level Leadership Roles

Are you ready to take a bigger step? Don’t shy away from becoming the president of your CCA or expand the size and diversity of the community you are leading, by joining the student council. It may seem daunting, but the challenge will be rewarding.

You will significantly refine your ability to organise a group of people and motivate them, manage their concerns, delegate responsibility, and more. Plus, recruiters ​would be impressed with your continuous commitment to self-improvement through your rise through the ranks, even in university.

5. Start Your Passion Project

Taking the initiative to make improvements or fill a gap is an exceptionally strong quality of a leader that would do you well in any company. If you have a great idea for a fundraising event, a new amenity for the campus, a modification to an existing tradition or system, or even a whole new club, raise it with your schoolmates and the faculty.

You will likely need lots of help to transform the idea into reality, and that’s where your networking and organising abilities get sharpened. Launching your project inculcates a sense of responsibility and proactiveness to do what you believe will benefit others.

Wu Xueting