It’s not unusual to find students scrambling to find experience to fill up their CV. By the time you’re a finalist, you’ve analysed every extracurricular you ever got involved in, hoping you can squeeze something out of it which screams “I’m employable!” It’s also not uncommon to find students engaged in weird and wacky activities, often as part of one of their university’s less conventional societies.
These societies might be a forgotten gem if you’re worrying you didn’t do enough outside the seminar room during your degree. That includes those which don’t immediately stand out as mines of productivity and career possibilities. If you’re in the Law or Debating societies you’ve likely already whacked that on your LinkedIn profile. But even those groups which appear frivolous have equipped you with all-important transferable skills.
Of course, anyone on a society committee can prove they’re accustomed to leadership/events planning/communications/choosing the most enticing freebies for freshers fair, but potentially the society’s activities itself are also a source of experience. So, to prove that even the obscurest of societies could help you out on the way to a job, here are six wacky university societies and some suggestions for how they might make you that bit more employable.
Louis Theroux Society (Sussex, UCL, York)
Everyone loves a Louis Theroux documentary. They offer us all the chance to pretend we’re really informed about the world of meth addicts or the Westboro Baptist Church. Don’t we all wish we had Theroux’s knack for asking probing questions in quite such an innocent yet effective manner?
Demonstrates an interest in current affairs, and shows you can engage with and critique a range of social issues. Plus it proves you have great taste in Netflix, presumably a crucial asset in a potential employee.
20 Minute Society (Kent, Newcastle, Liverpool Hope)
A society for the spontaneous. 20 Minute members are sent the details of an event or social, then given just twenty minutes to get there. Not a society for the indecisive, perhaps. But this appeals to the wannabee action hero in us all, always ready for a madcap dash across town.
This certainly shows that you’re dynamic and energised, thinking on your feet quite literally. You’re also a natural problem solver, accustomed to working out if it’s better to hop on a bus to get to your mysterious location, or if you should just dash there on foot.
Bee Soc (Newcastle, Sheffield, UCL, LSE and probably many more)
Before researching this article, I had no idea quite how enamoured the UK’s students were with beekeeping. However, with Bee Socs at a variety of unis it seems there’s a bee craze going on. Maybe our generation really will save the bees! And on the way there’ll be lots of graduates with a genuinely interesting hobby to bring up if asked at interview.
I imagine beekeeping involves teamwork and creative problem solving. Also, bees can be a tad scary, so you’ve shown you’re not afraid of a challenge or facing your fears.
K-Pop Dance Soc (Coventry, Sheffield)
K-Pop is the music sensation that’s sweeping through youth culture with a veracity that can only be matched by Jeremy Corbyn. Now you can join a society to perfect your K-Pop dance moves; perfect for spicing up a night out, as well as your CV.
It suggests you’ve engaged meaningfully with another culture. And, as a dance society, it implies that you’re active and dedicated to practise, skills you can bring along to your new job.
Bad Film Soc (UEA)
While there’s certainly some charm – or just outright hilarity – in an awful film, not everyone would commit their time to a society dedicated to them. But a devoted bunch at the UEA have decided that it’s just their cup of tea. I applaud their perseverance if nothing else.
Watching all these awful films will have honed your critical judgement, you’ll have learned how to identify mistakes. Perhaps you’ll even be good at suggesting ways those mistakes can be avoided in the future.
Beard Appreciation (Queen Mary)
This is the society for you, whether you’re a hipster whose facial hair is cultivated to compliment their favourite craft beer, or just a person who can’t be bothered to shave.
Okay, I admit it, this one has stumped me. But I suppose an employer could never say you were boring, right?