How to Use Your Degree to Hone Your Leadership Skills

Many university students naturally focus on important goals like getting good grades and keeping up with homework. But you shouldn’t settle for just getting by. College is also a time to hone leadership skills that will help you at work and home for the rest of your life. Take steps now to improve your personal skills and beef up your resume along with your degree.

Choose Your Degree Wisely
The choice of your major makes a difference in how you might approach certain organization techniques. It will also impact future earning potential, job security, and even quality of life over the span of your entire working career. Today’s students will often choose majors based on personal interests instead of tangible benefits and results. A science, computer or engineering degree offers excellent yearly salaries for students who are mainly interested in financial outcomes. Other degrees will not pay as much, but have equally excellent benefits. For example, getting a masters of social work online degree will provide a lifetime of opportunities to help others and make a difference in communities which could be a bigger factor for some.

Use Proven Strategies and Techniques
Every student has a unique personality that will contribute to their specific leadership style. There are countless books and popular self-help guides from and business leaders and industry professionals that provide insightful leadership development strategies. You might respond best to books by successful athletes, while others might enjoy leadership classics from famous entrepreneurs. Find a method that meshes with your degree and personality type and be sure to explore the published works of well-recognized leadership gurus in your area to find the right one with the right strategies that work for you. Focus on proven leadership strategies and techniques that increase rapport, results, and productivity.

Academic Discipline
Academic discipline is needed to maintain good grades and be successful in school, just like work discipline is required to execute goals and implement projects. Without discipline, even the best visions and intentions can get left behind. While in school, create schedules to help organize schoolwork, appointments, and personal commitments. Strategic planning will increase your quality of education and eliminate many potential problems. Set weekly study goals and hold yourself accountable. Discipline requires constant motivation and self-reviews. Students should always remain focused on the big picture and learn to distinguish between short term gratification and long term success.

Spearhead Projects
Be sure to take the initiative to lead teams or projects as much as possible. Group assignments provide opportunities for students to increase their assertiveness and organizational skills. Instead of waiting to be told to take on more responsibilities, take the initiative to go above and beyond current expectations. A good way to develop project management skills is through taking on extra projects outside of regular classes. This may be in the form of participation in clubs, or other extracurricular activities.

Finally, be sure choose electives that revolve around business, management, and leadership skills. Think about how your internship opportunities might look on a resume and how you can hone them to setting you up for a future career. Everything you do now in your college years will be important in how you approach the future.

This guest post was written by Brooke Chaplan. Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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