Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Involved vs. Engaged

This post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Ji Hwan Kim ’18. 

At Babson, our students take great pride in having a jam-packed schedule. It’s as if flashing around a completely filled schedule validates their hard work and standing as good Babson citizens. Ironically, however, this pressure to constantly stay busy and occupied has a detrimental effect on the Babson community as students look to be involved in more organizations while not necessarily increasing their engagement level with each activity. In essence, it isn’t that being busy is inherently bad; rather, it’s the way in which Babson students get busy.

Specifically speaking, the Babson community places more reverence and respect for students who are able to involve themselves with more organizations rather than revering the students who are able to make a profound impact with fewer organizations. For example, let’s use hypothetical students Bob and Jane. Bob is involved in 9 organizations on campus while Jane is only involved in 2. Because Bob has so many responsibilities to juggle, he will surely not have enough time to do work beyond what is expected of him. On the other hand, because Jane’s time is dedicated to 2 clubs, she is able to allot more time to improving her clubs rather than always focusing her time on getting the operational/administrative work done. Because Bob is always focused on the basics of his clubs, he will ultimately not have as many meaningful experiences while having significantly more stress than Jane. Conversely, Jane will be able to accomplish much more while not taking on as much stress as Bob does.

While the issue at hand may seem simple on the surface, it speaks to a much larger myth that many Babson students believe to be true: “A great resume will land you any job.” Due to this false misconception, many Babson students set out to pack their resumes with as many activities and leadership positions as possible. Furthermore, too many of my peers falsely believe that not having a leadership position within an organization precludes them from putting that specific experience on their resumes. The ending result is a student who, on the surface, has a great resume but will not have many meaningful experiences to talk about during an interview. Although it is true that a good resume will allow you to obtain more interview opportunities, it is extremely rare that a good resume in and of itself will guarantee anyone a position. From personal experience and the experience of many students I have spoken to on campus, the statement should be adjusted to: “A good resume will get you an interview; a good interview will get you the job.” By fixing the false myth that has resonated with so many Babson students, I believe that our campus can become a more engaged and impactful one. One that stresses and rewards meaningful contribution, not one that just rewards thoughtless involvement for the sake of beefing up a resume. This simple change in the way we think will allow students to engage in the activities and organizations that mean most to them rather than spending their precious time on activities that “seem good” to an employer.