Student Perspective: The Power of Extracurriculars

Winnie Tsao, third-year student and McIntire Ambassador

As a prospective Commerce student, you can be deterred from getting involved by the pressure to keep up good grades so that you’re not in over your head or drowning in responsibility. However, extracurricular activities are crucial to your college experience (not to mention they also make up a factor in McIntire’s holistic application review). Here are my top five reasons to get involved on Grounds:

  1. Explore your interests outside of an academic setting. As UVA students, we are lucky to have access to nearly a thousand unique CIOs around Grounds. This gives each and every student the chance to learn something new or apply a learned skill in the real world.
  2. Have the chance to be passionate about something! Extracurriculars give you the opportunity to take the reins on a project and really run with it. Being part of a CIO is a unique experience, in that you get the opportunity to make a difference within the UVA community, Charlottesville community, and sometimes even beyond that.
  3. Discover a new interest. CIOs give you the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and explore a field you might not be able to in class. Sometimes, people even discover their future career interests from their experiences in CIOs!
  4. Gain better time management skills. Being able to juggle between schoolwork and extracurricular activities is an important part of growing up. Joining extracurriculars will allow you to plan out time to dedicate to each activity and you might even see an extracurricular activity as time to “recharge” and a fun break from studying.
  5. Make new friends! Extracurriculars aren’t always just about learning a new skill or adding an activity to your résumé. Extracurriculars are a fun way to get to know other people with similar interests and sometimes even make lifelong friends.

So, don’t be scared of getting involved! Part of the college experience is to venture beyond the classroom, test your boundaries, and discover yourself. Take a leap of faith and join that a cappella group you’ve been eyeing or that investing club today!

-Winnie Tsao, McIntire Ambassador


Winnie Tsao is a third-year McIntire student and McIntire Ambassador. After discovering her love for finance through Alpha Kappa Psi, Winnie spent this past summer interning as an investment banking analyst. Around Grounds, Winnie serves as a Career Peer Educator through the University Career Center, runs long distance, and can be seen “brunching” on the Corner.