As you are in your JC years, you may hear your peers or seniors telling you to do this or that to build up your portfolio. You may join in the frenzy, initiate in taking up positions so as to beef up and make your portfolio look better. But as you do what you do, you may start to wonder: Why am I doing it and am I doing it right? How do the positions I'm holding really affect my portfolio?
At the end of your two or three years in JC, you will be given a testimonial by your school that accounts and documents all the momentous co-curricular activities that you have taken up. Thus, taking on extra activities and responsibilities will give you the extra lines on your portfolio. But, that is actually not what truly matters. It is what you do in the co-curricular activities that matter on your portfolio. What skills did you exemplify, acquire and develop in the process of that co-curricular activity? How does that differentiate you from another student? What were the actual achievements or results in your involvement in that activity?
That is essentially what matters in a portfolio. Your future professor or employer will not have the luxury of time to read every single line narrating down to the most specific detail on what you had done at the co-curricular activity. They are interested in learning more about your traits and skills and how those can come to contribute to their organization. Thus, when it comes to choosing co-curricular activities to take part in, be selective. The JC curriculum is packed and fast-paced and leaves you with very little time to put time into other activities. Pick those that will allow you acquire experiences that will allow you to stand out from the rest. Many people often rush to clock up Values in Action (VIA) hours or just participate in many activities for the sake of doing so. If possible, try to take up a position in an area of your interest. It may be a class committee position (i.e class Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Welfare Representative etc), a CCA committee role or initiating a VIA project. There are also other platforms like representing your school to take part in a competition, signing up for enrichment programmes to take part in that will serve to value-add your education.
Apart from helping in your university application and potential internships/jobs, these positions and co-curricular activities that you are involved in can help you if you are considering in taking up a scholarship after your JC. It may be especially important for this as well as the assessors of the scholarship are often looking out for distinctive traits that would set applicants apart from the other.
For instance, if you step up to initiate to lead a VIA project for your class in school, that would set you apart from your peers who only participated in the VIA project. Initiating a project would reflect your pro-activeness in working, your organizational and management skills, your ability to manage people and etc. Thus, these are the key that scholarship assessors look out for. In essence, it is the quality and not the quantity that matters.