By Ron Stefanski, a faculty member in Kendall’s Business program
While earning your degree, your number one priority to focus on is your coursework. However, if you have some spare time, consider the hobbies or activities you choose—how can they lead to valuable skills you could use professionally? Let’s look at a few hobbies you can participate in that will help increase your employability once you graduate:
Blogging: Being a good writer is important no matter what your professional goals are. You will inevitably create a résumé, and write a cover letter or emails to prospective employers. Writing short posts (300 to 500 words) is a great way to research your ideas and write short articles about those topics (whether you’re offering a list of best practices or discussing a topic with a local business owner). Writing clearly and effectively is a universal skill that increases your employability. Managing your own blog may be the catalyst that allows you to grow as a writer and increase your knowledge about your chosen industry.
Graphic Design: If you enjoy drawing, painting, or any type of artistic expression, graphic design is an excellent hobby to have. Your coursework is typically focused on research and academic writing, which is a far cry from visual expression. Graphic designers spend most of their time speaking with customers to understand what they would like made and then translate those words into art. No matter what products you end up creating, these communications will improve your listening skills, which are extremely valuable to employers.
Video Production: Whether it be running a YouTube channel for fun, making videos for a band you play in, or even shooting on a GoPro camera to capture athletic activities you enjoy, the act of shooting and editing video can help you cultivate skills that employers need. Aside from the technical experience that you’ll gain, having the ability to manage the editing and production of these videos speaks volumes about your ability to multitask and manage your time.
Website Design: Though this particular hobby requires quite a bit of technical expertise, students who spend their free time designing websites for small businesses may learn skills that will suit them well in a professional workplace. Communication, project management, graphic design and the ability to code are beneficial in many work environments.
Ron Stefanski teaches in the undergraduate business program at Kendall College’s School of Business. He’s also a marketing consultant and internet entrepreneur who owns a portfolio of websites, including JobsForTeensHQ.com.