If you’re aspiring to become an accountant, you already know that an education is an essential part of preparing for this career. What you may not know is that extracurricular activities at both the high school and college level can help you develop the skills you need to succeed. While you may think that only extracurricular activities that have a basis in business or accounting can improve your skills, you can make nearly any activity into an opportunity to learn new knowledge and abilities.
Accounting and Business Activities
At both the high school and the college level, there are plenty of opportunities for aspiring accountants to get involved in extracurricular activities that relate to their intended career field. Some schools offer an accounting club specifically, where students invite accounting professionals to lecture, participate in discussions, engage in networking, explore internship opportunities, take field trips and prepare for taking the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) examination. Some accounting clubs are independently run by the school, while others are student chapters of the professional organization Institute of Management Accountants.
Some opportunities are only available at either the high school or college level. High school students can prepare for the business world by joining the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), though college students can join a separate division of FBLA called Phi Beta Lambda. Business Professionals of America also has separate opportunities for high school and college students. If you get good grades in college, you may want to apply for admission into Beta Alpha Psi, an honor society for students majoring in accounting, finance and information systems.
Learning “Soft Skills” Through Extracurricular Activities
Even activities that aren’t based in business or accounting can be valuable learning experiences. You can use these opportunities to develop what’s called “soft skills,” or workplace skills that can be carried over across industries, like effective communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. If you choose to seek out leadership positions in your activities, you can develop additional skills in managing people and projects or run for positions like club treasurer, where you have a direct role in overseeing finances.
You can begin preparing for a job in accounting even before college by taking the best high school courses for aspiring accountants and continue making the most of your education by taking advanced or specialized classes throughout your college career. However impressive your academic success is, though, you can still learn at least some important skills by taking up an extracurricular activity. There are many other benefits to participation, too. Many extracurricular activities are fun experiences that allow students to socialize or enjoy the free food provided. Some activities look especially good on a future résumé. Participation in extracurricular activities can even make students eligible for special scholarship opportunities. Becoming part of an extracurricular activity can allow to you pursue new interests or develop leadership skills that will enhance not only your career prospects, but also your personal growth.