What kind of extracurricular activities

should a undergrad be looking for?

I would assume, they would be something in student leadership, but does anything work? I am currently only a freshman so I have the time to get involved, but I would like to know what exactly I should be keeping my eyes open for. For example I have recently noticed a opening for working as a director for my schools Skills USA team, I would be doing things such as promotion, invitation, registration, and communication, as well as other things like putting together recruitment strategies and campaigns, and advertising events and job positions.
Is this the kind of thing that I should be looking to get into? Or am I totally looking at the wrong stuff?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys!

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Comments (98)

Mar 2, 2008 - 7:36pm

you should get involved in stuff you like and want to do. extracurriculars have such marginal value in the process, that it is dumb to waste time being treasurer of the finance club when your interviewer will ask you one curt question about it, and will only care if you have a very entertaining answer.

in short, you can craft any extracurricular into a good and relevant skill story for banking interviews, so don't waste you time trying to do something that you think will look best. and the job you mentioned looks fine, albeit time consuming.

Mar 2, 2008 - 9:10pm

I agree totally. I mean you could say you were a member of the ultimate frisbee club and say it taught you team-oriented thinking and how to persevere through difficult situations. You could be the president (4 years) of the I Hate Investment Banking Club andsay seeing the negatives of banking opened you up to the positives about it. I mean come on, do stuff your interested in, stuff you can learn from, and stuff the girls do.

Reality hits you hard, bro...
Mar 2, 2008 - 9:37pm

Yep, find something that interests you. Don't worry about the # of ECs, find the quality. I'm a business fraternity and we do things from professional, community service, to fundraising, and social events...so I always have something to talk about.

There are plenty of students who throw on "Diverse Business Students" or "Investment Bankers of XXX University"...they get asked 2 questions about it, have nothing to say, and get slammed.

Mar 3, 2008 - 2:45am
Instead of ECA (though important, obviously, if you enjoy it!), I'd recommend try trading....
atleast build a mock portfolio!

I've acctually been trying, key word here trying... I've read a few articles on it, and some stuff on the basics, however still being a Freshman Economics major, I frankly have NO idea what im doing, I did get lucky investing in a couple green companies a few weeks back though :p all and all its pretty fun trying.

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Mar 3, 2008 - 12:38am

Join a fraternity baby! Then proceed to drink yourself stupid your first two years before you get slammed with interviews your 3rd and 4th :). Half the i-banking guys are in frats anyway, and it's cool if you interview someone who happened to be in yours.

Aside from that... it doesn't matter too much. ECA's don't play too much a role in your interview.

Mar 3, 2008 - 1:43am

Join the investment club or finance society whatever you have at your school. At my school they seem to have worthwhile events. Last semester I think they went to Lehman or ML's trading floor. Also, they should have lots of networking events and interview prep stuff. This will kill two birds with one stone as you get the EC on your resume plus it will actually help later on when you apply for SA and FT positions.

Mar 3, 2008 - 2:55am

Finance clubs are good one, if anything for the general knowledge of finance and banking you would hopefully gain. In my case, it's also been a great source for contacts and meeting bankers.

Tips for a freshman: join a few clubs at first and then narrow it down. Being actively involved and taking a leadership role in 1-2 is better than being a "member" of 4-5. Like others said, do you what you like, not what you think will look good on your resume.

Mar 3, 2008 - 9:51am

Don't do an EC for your resume, do it because you want to meet people/have a legitimate interest. I'm a pretty social guy, but I didn't like a lot of the clubs at my school, and ended up working in Corp Fin during the school year.

I was able to get interviews at most BBs/boutiques, and no one ever asked "oh you don't have any Finance ECs" or whatever. I'm also studying photography (in addition to Finance), and this was often the topic of discussion in my interviews.

Mar 3, 2008 - 4:49pm

Good college extracurriculars? (Originally Posted: 07/24/2017)

Right now I am a student at a CC looking to transfer to another school (hopefully a prestigious uni like Harvard, Columbia, or Fordham). My parents aren't privileged fuckers like yours are, so I couldn't afford a a target at first. What are some good ECs for investment banking that look good for schools I'm transferring to? Thanks :)

Mar 3, 2008 - 4:59pm

Quick resume question - Extracurricular section? (Originally Posted: 11/06/2008)

Which should I list first under the extracurriculars section of my resume: club lacrosse or a club I founded and am president of?

I currently have my small club listed first but people seem more interested in lacrosse and often skip right over the club and start with questions about lacrosse. I obviously want to have most important listed first.


Mar 3, 2008 - 5:04pm

Is this work experience or an extracurricular? (Originally Posted: 05/10/2016)

I'm currently helping a non-profit consulting firm found a branch in the city near my university as well as start a program with them where students from my school can volunteer to work on engagements with them during the semester.

I was wondering if I should put this under work experience or as an extracurricular on my resume.
The reason I'm asking is because my work experience has several brand name summer internships while my extracurriculars are pretty bare i.e cookie cutter investment club, finance club etc.

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:06pm

Relevant Extra-Curricular? (Originally Posted: 09/13/2011)

I'm the Founder and President of my University's Fashion Society and was wondering how good this will look on my CV when applying for internships?
I started the society not because I have a burning passion for fashion (excuse the rhyme) but because I saw a fantastic opportunity to get free and discounted clothes for myself and other students. I've raised sponsorships from shops and the society is the fastest growing in the university.
I have other things on my CV that show an interest in finance, but will the fact that my society is not finance-related mean it doesn't count for much?
I'll be applying for Sales internships.

Thanks x

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:08pm

non-related extra-curricular advice (Originally Posted: 01/10/2012)


I'm currently applying to S&T internships, and have been getting more rejections this year pre-interview than I did last year when I thought my CV was much weaker. A summer internship at a large IM and founding and chairing a university society has been added - but I think my problem might be the nature of the society. I founded a fashion society not because i'm particulary interested in fashion but because I spotted that it could be used to leverage free clothes and discounts to members in return for the marketing to the student network we provide. I've succeeded in raising sponsorship from 10 clothing stores by pitches and netoworking, it's the fastest growing society in my university, I lead a committee of 8 etc etc. so it shows off soft skills as much as a finance-related society would. But i'm a bit worried that it might be giving the impression i'm more interested in fashion than finance if they only read the first line and not the bullet points on my CV! I'm applying for Sales so the soft skills are similar and my major is in Mathematics (so not at all fashion related!). Do you think it could be putting people off and I should remove it from my CV? It just seems a shame because in actual fact it demonstrates soft skills more than most finance-related societies.
Note, I do 2 finance intenships and a portfolio of stocks as related items on my CV.

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:10pm

Internship/Extracurricular ideas? (Originally Posted: 07/10/2014)

"True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less."
Mar 3, 2008 - 5:13pm

What are the best school clubs to join? (Originally Posted: 11/06/2016)

Hi friends,

As an undergraduate approaching the end of my first semester, I've had an excellent time at my school's case competition club so far!

But this got me thinking, what club did you guys join? Did it help you get to where you wanted to go? What sort of benefits did you get out of the club?


Mar 3, 2008 - 5:15pm

Which school club should I join? - Two clubs I am looking at (Originally Posted: 07/25/2011)

I am about to be a junior undergrad and hope to work in IB out of school. I plan on joining a club this upcoming semester that will give me some useful experience and look good on a resume. There are two clubs I am looking at: one of them is a long/short equity fund and the other is an alternative investments fund. Which one should I join given my goal of working in IB, and given the fact that I currently am interning at an alternative investments firm (a fund of funds)?

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:27pm

College clubs and societies; quantity or quality? (Originally Posted: 10/07/2015)

I'm a sophomore at a non-target and one way I'm working to make my resume competitive is to join a number of clubs. I'm currently in 3 (accounting club, investor's club, and finance club,) and was just invited to join the economics society. Also, some friends of mine want me to join their fraternity and my roommate is pressuring me to get involved with SGA. I'm a hard worker who loves being busy but not naive, I know theres no way I could handle all of those commitments without giving minimum effort into all of them. I'm starting to feel that I should focus my time and energy into getting really involved in 2 or 3 organizations. Is my intuition correct or should I just go for quantity over quality?

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:30pm

College S & T Club (Originally Posted: 10/30/2009)

Hey everyone. I'm a junior and trying to start a S & T club here at my school. I'm in the math club here, and several kids there as well as in the finance club have expressed interest. However, we are having trouble figuring out what type of stuff we should be looking at. Are there any resources that you all use daily that we should familiarize ourselves with? I recommended that kids get familiar with/certified on our school's Bloomberg terminal, but I don't know if there is something better. I was looking into collegiate trading competitions, as that seemed to be a good goal to work towards, but are they really worthwhile or does anything ever come out of them? If so, I found one in Toronto (the Rotman International Trading Competition), is this one legit? Are there any others out there for undergrads?


------------------------------------------------------------------ "I just want to be a monkey of average intelligence who wears a suit. I'll go to business school!"
Mar 3, 2008 - 5:38pm

Cash, Chicks, Cristal..

------------ I'm making it up as I go along.
Mar 3, 2008 - 5:41pm

I'm a member of our school's investment association. They have a bunch of fund managers and wealth management people come in an talk to us in a relatively intimate environment.

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:42pm

If you want to work on Wall Street, the finance/investment clubs are logical clubs to be a part of. As Cold said, if your club is well-organized and you have some good alums, you can hear some good speakers. It's the rare exception to see a resume that doesn't list the finance club on it. You won't get any points for just being a member, although you can get real value out of it. From an interview standpoint, what's much more important than just being a member of the club is making a difference in the club. Don't just occupy a seat in the room, come out of the experience with a story to tell about what you did for the club. You don't need a title to do that.

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Mar 3, 2008 - 5:49pm
School is starting soon and I want to get involved. What are some good business/general clubs to get involved in?

I heard > 80% of Delta Sigma Pis got offers from Goldman.

How many people are in the club, 8? That's like saying I heard 80% of the trust fund babies association have rich dads.

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:46pm

I agree with Ganthor. If you have the time, start one. Reach out to some other schools and ask the student president of their club how they are organized, what events they have during the year, etc.

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Mar 3, 2008 - 5:47pm

If you are a freshman or even a sophomore I would suggest a fraternity. Despite what many believe fraternities are a great way to network and gain relevant leadership experience(not to mention a lot of fun). If you become president, treasurer, etc. of your fraternity that is a great thing to put on your resume.

Be sure to start a finance related club. By doing so you will be able to contact industry professionals in your area and develop relationships with these people. A great networking tool.

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:48pm

I think it's all been pretty much covered here. Do some research on frats and their focuses, looking into private equity/banking/finance related clubs, and if they don't have one, then get right on it. You can call it a "Wall Street Club" or simply the "Finance Club" and look into getting it started. It may take a lot of work, but if you are early enough in your college career, it can definitely pay off very well for you, as you will have time to develop the ideas, the representation, reach out to alumni, and get events going. Like everything, it will be a process, but one that I think will definitely serve you well.

Finally, I would also get involved with an intramural sports team or some such thing as a means of showing you are more than just a finance geek, burn off some steam and meet some new people. Enjoy college, enjoy life and make some friends outside of the finance space. Drive is very important in the game, but being able to enjoy things and have fun away from studies/finance will definitely keep you in the game a lot longer (Wall St. not the intramural sport, haha).

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Mar 3, 2008 - 5:50pm

Need some killer EC's (Originally Posted: 03/22/2016)

I am hoping to apply as a transfer to Richard Ivey in the next 1-2 years ideally. They weigh applications 50-50, Grades/EC's. So I am wanting to get as early as a start as possible on getting a portfolio of some killer extra-curriculars. I am extremely driven to getting into this school so I have a shot at IB in the future.

What EC's do business programs typically love seeing/find hard to ignore? What is the best strategy in building them up to stand out? If anyone here has successfully transferred to a top school, what did your EC section look like?

Thanks in advance!

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:53pm

Number one killer EC I've ever seen (for obvious reasons): Politics. And y'all are in luck. Cause it's an election year!

Other good stuff is more complicated, i.e. it's not the thing itself, but it's the time and energy you put into it. Like we had one guy this year who's a devout churchgoer, and he took it upon himself to run youth groups for 50 churches. Or another one I remember, some guy whose dad was blind so he decided to get involved, and he ended up starting a foundation, getting money, etc etc.

I'll just add that for ECs it helps if you love it. There's likely no silver bullet. Meaning from what I've seen, the best folks have been doing what they have been doing out of love and for years, not just slapping on two hours of mentoring at year's end to say that they have done something.

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:54pm

You're significantly overthinking this. I applied to Ivey in my second year (turned it down) and my EC's were nothing to brag about. What's your GPA? They may say 50/50 but GPA is (and probably forever will be) the number 1 thing they look out for. Also top school on this site is Ivy League/MIT/Stanford etc... transferring to Western is 10000x easier.

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:56pm

Currently my GPA is higher than what Western lists as a competitive transfer GPA, so currently I am doing well int he grades category. But I am not involved in any extracurricular activities that have anything to do with business and need to get started ASAP

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:58pm

You're significantly overthinking this. I applied to Ivey in my second year (turned it down) and my EC's were nothing to brag about. What's your GPA? They may say 50/50 but GPA is (and probably forever will be) the number 1 thing they look out for. Also top school on this site is Ivy League/MIT/Stanford etc... transferring to Western is 10000x easier.

Well, everything is important in the application dude. But Killer ECS is one thing I've seen that will propel candidates with big disadvantagesinto amazing schools. I worked with some dude who had been doing amazing volunteer stuff for 15 years when he applied (and he was also one of the nicest guys I ever worked with), and even though his GMAT was 40 points under average, he got into top schools everywhere.

So, yeah, if everything else is perfect, you can get into a great school with moderate to little ECs, but if you have them, they can help a lot.

Mar 3, 2008 - 5:59pm

You're the guy who said OP is lucky its an election year. OP is Canadian, there is no election here. Have you dealt with Ivey transfer students before? Because I highly doubt you would be saying this if you did.

Also you're an MBA expert, this is for undergrad.

Mar 3, 2008 - 6:04pm


Like I said, my grades are currently sitting higher than what Ivey lists as a competitive average, I have a ways to go in that front still, but I have been putting in the work to achieve them and will continue so hopefully that won't be an issue

Mar 3, 2008 - 6:01pm

I don't know about Ivey in particular, but most of the time your EC doesn't matter as much as your impact. Did you just sign your name on the list or did you run for a leadership position and noticeably improve the organization?

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Mar 3, 2008 - 6:03pm

Yea that's what I was getting at, I suppose I did not phrase my original question in the best manner, but the core of my question is in regard to this issue. Any advice on how to position myself to getting those leadership roles and meaningful positions within a service/org?

Thanks in advance

Best Response
Mar 3, 2008 - 6:07pm

Yea that's what I was getting at, I suppose I did not phrase my original question in the best manner, but the core of my question is in regard to this issue. Any advice on how to position myself to getting those leadership roles and meaningful positions within a service/org?

Thanks in advance

Honestly, just step up and do it. You know that moment when someone needs to step up and everyone is kind of quietly keeping to themselves and avoiding responsibility? Be the person to step up.

I've been highschool class vice president, vice president and president of my fraternity, a committee chairman and president of student government, president of graduate student government, graduate class president, got to sit on the board of directors of a 501(c)(3) as well as a charity organization, co-chaired an action council with ULI, etc. etc. etc. and I'm not anyone incredibly special. I don't go into these things all pompous or hyper ambitious or anything. I'm probably in the lower 50% on this site as far as intelligence goes sadly enough. I didn't go to college anywhere special. There are always times in life however when someone needs to step up and you just need to raise your hand or sign your name and take responsibility.

As an undergrad, this is the prime time. A lot of student governments are below their max capacity (there are supposed to be 100 senators and only 80 nerds run, for example) so check into that. Hell, college kids think sit ins and protest signs are getting things accomplished. If you set meetings with the administration and talk respectfully to them like adults instead of special snowflake safe spacers, it's amazing the kind of things you can get accomplished and the kind of recommendation letters you can get. Clubs flounder about without a purpose. Investment clubs, PE clubs, whatever. Go in there and say "I want to do case studies" or "I want us to pay to host an excel modeling workshop" and all of a sudden you're an idea guy.

The key to leadership is to lead before you have any title or position. Do the work a president should do in year one before you have any title to your name and then when elections come around, you'll be the obvious choice. Half of those positions I held I ran unopposed - a lot of times because I was already the "acting leader" in a sense. Opportunities come to those who make them. Make them.

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Mar 3, 2008 - 6:05pm

Memorize every line of American Psycho and act it out line for line in a YouTube video.
Send YouTube video as a line item for EC.
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