Student Life

5 Ways Virtual Students Can Get Leadership Experience

Learn how to find leadership experience opportunities as a virtual student.

Student Contributor, Danielle Steen

September 16, 2022

5 Ways Virtual Students Can Get Leadership Experience
Finding leadership roles while doing virtual schooling can feel impossible. Well, guess what? It's not.
When we think about ways to gain leadership experience while in school, we typically think of participating in clubs, sports, or school competitions. The thing is, when you're a virtual student, these opportunities aren't always available. Still, leadership experience is extremely important for high schoolers, so gaining some in a tangible way is a must. So, what are virtual students supposed to do? Well, as a virtual student myself, I've got your back!

5 Ways to Gain Leadership Experience as a Virtual Student

  1. Remote Internships Are Your Best Friend
  2. Work experience can be a great way to gain some leadership skills and to start building a resume; you really can't go wrong with an internship. There are plenty of remote internships to choose from, so location will hardly be a problem. Though internships are almost always unpaid if they are specifically for students, they still offer a lot of great benefits! Internships can be great for networking opportunities, skill building, and experience in a certain career field. Fastweb’s internship database is safe, reliable, and has the most up-to-date information. Openings can also be listed on an organization's website, so it's completely possible to stumble upon an internship by accident. The point is that remote internships are great opportunities, especially for furthering leadership skills.

  3. Look into Your School's Existing Programs
  4. Because most virtual schools are accredited partners of a public school district and are therefore considered public schools, a lot of them offer programs and clubs you would expect to find in a public school. Consider emailing your counselor about any academic clubs or groups the school may have, such as SkillsUSA, FBLA, or the NHS. Some of these clubs also come with unique opportunities for competitions and travel, but in their own right, they are perfect leadership experience opportunities. You get to gain career-specific skills, as well as generally useful skills, such as public speaking, planning, and blueprinting ideas.

  5. Take on Independent Passion Projects
  6. Pursuing a passion project can be a great way to gain leadership experience, depending on the activity. While some passion projects may not really foster leadership experience, things like building a social media presence, starting up a business, leading an organization or drive, or creating an app can be great for gaining leadership experience while also making you more competitive in terms of college applications! These aren't the only activities available, but they should give you a general idea of what kind of passion project can build leadership skills, make an impact, and look good on college applications all at once. While those perks are great, the main reason to start a passion project is in the name; you should have a passion for it! Don't waste your time on something you aren't passionate about for the sake of looking good.

  7. Volunteer
  8. For obvious reasons, volunteering is a great way to get some leadership experience under your belt. Don't worry about location being an obstacle; there are many ways to volunteer from home! Teenlife has a plethora of age-appropriate volunteer opportunities, many being virtual, so location isn't a boundary. Volunteering has many personal perks, but those should be secondary to the main reason why you decide to volunteer. Behind every volunteering opportunity is a powerful mission, so it's important to make sure the organization you're considering helping is one that aligns with your passions or interests.

  9. Participate in a Summer Program
  10. While it's easy to want to do absolutely nothing but rest over the summer, there are plenty of free (or cheap) skill-building summer programs to consider! From Girls Who Code to Telluride, there are programs made for anyone with any interest. Not only do these programs build toward a specific skill set, but these programs also tend to look great on college applications and definitely build leadership skills! Participating in a summer program shows that you were productive over the summer, which can help you stand out in an applicant pool, but there are many other reasons to consider doing a summer program! Summer enrichment programs typically allow you to explore a particular subject or career. They also better your time management and collaborative skills, which are highly valued by employers.
This article only scratches the surface in terms of ways to gain leadership experience as a virtual student! With enough creativity and drive, you make a whole lot of different hobbies, passions, and interests into valuable leadership experiences. The activities you come up with will also be useful for your college application since most of them count as extracurricular activities. Figure out how to make your passion into something that can have an impact, and once you do that, you've started setting yourself up for a great leadership experience opportunity!