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Extracurricular Experience Makes You a Candidate in a League of Your Own, By: Courtney Crites

Jan 18, 2023 04:49 PM
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My experience with extracurriculars 

Being a part of extracurriculars will change your post-secondary experience. From introducing you to new people, a community, to making you a more well-rounded person through knowledge-sharing. Some of my most relevant and exciting experiences are from participating in extracurriculars and executive teams at school - something I’ve done since first year. Each experience has taught me something different, and allowed me to gain skills and make connections that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. 

(Bonus point: these experiences give me more things to talk about during job interviews.)

Importantly, this increased involvement on-and-off campus has made me really proud and increased my appreciation of others who voluntarily take on roles like this. The greatest takeaway, though, is truly knowing when I love something and am passionate about it (meaning I want to do it on my own time even though I’m not getting paid). 

What I’m doing now 

I’m a part of an executive team that I am so proud of - the Canadian Marketing League. I joined about 8 months ago and evolved into the role of Chief Marketing Officer (sounds cool, I know). Essentially, it is my job to create content, oversee our social channels, create and brand a variety of documents, and produce items for print! It’s been a lot of fun and such a great way for me to be creative and learn from peers who have similar passions to me. 

What is the Canadian Marketing League? 

Here’s the pitch I give to everyone when we go on road trips to visit schools across Canada (I just came back from a trip visiting 5 schools last week): 

The Canadian Marketing League (CML) is Canada’s Largest Marketing Case Competition. We have several corporate sponsors that we like to call ‘learning partners’ and some of these include PepsiCo, McDonalds, Kraft Heinz, General Motors and Microsoft (I know right… amazing). 

As far as the competition goes, there are three phases. We call the first phase the “pre-season” (and it’s out now… due January 23rd if you want to participate). This is where students submit a pre-recorded 3-minute video pitch following a case from PepsiCo. The top 25 students from the pre-season will move on to the “regular season” and will complete two more cases from different learning partners, presenting them live via Microsoft Teams. From there, the top 10 will move on to the “playoffs” and will be presented with an all-expense paid trip to Toronto over a weekend, where they will compete in one final case and present it live in-person to our industry judges. 

Here’s ‘the kicker’… the grand prize is $20,000. Yes, you read that right. AND… because we have so many corporate sponsors a lot of them have jobs up for grabs (exciting, I know). 

Essentially, CML is a way for undergraduate and graduate students interested in marketing to challenge themselves, earn recognition, and open doors to career opportunities.

Shameless plug but here’s our website if you’re interested in learning more:

What makes CML different from the rest? 

To keep it short and sweet, CML is exactly what I was looking for in an extracurricular: 

  1. It has introduced me to some amazing people who I feel confident will be my friends for years to come. 
  2. It challenges me all the time to think outside the box and be creative. 
  3. It has allowed me to network and connect with numerous people from the industry who have had similar experiences to me. 
  4. It’s allowed me to visit some incredible corporate offices and go on trips across Ontario and Quebec visiting different universities. 
  5. It allows me to focus on my passion for marketing and sharing an amazing opportunity with my peers! 

Cool, I know.

My advice 

This is my advice for anyone looking to feel the same way I do about their extracurricular - join things that bring you joy and that you want to participate in during your free time. If more often than not, it feels like a chore, it’s not the extracurricular for you, and that’s okay. It took me until my 5th year to find something I am truly passionate about and love, and I know you’ll find yours too! 

Good luck out there!