Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Monday, July 27, 2015
Your question is a great one with a really simple answer: experience. Yes, skills are important, but even more important is your demonstrated experience learning, using and honing those skills that employers want to see most - especially for a leadership role. For a student, experience comes from a variety of sources, but let’s start with some basics.
Are you working while going to school? You’re gaining some immediate job cred you can take with you to future roles, assuming you take advantage and learn and grow from the job, no matter how small. Are you involved in student government, academic clubs or sports? That debate team experience shows critical thinking and your time spent being treasurer of the Spanish club shows you have experience paying attention to details. Do you stay involved with charitable or civic groups? It could be that fundraiser you help with every year is how you became so adept with logistics or project planning.
Ultimately, the experience can come from anywhere as long as you can draw a line to how that experience helped prepare you for the role in which you’re interested. If you start making a list and connecting the dots you’re bound to come up with more than a few examples that will help bolster your background. Best of luck!