Extracurricular Activity: Learning Outside the Classroom or Office

By DeVry University

Looking to supplement what you’re learning on campus, online or at the office? Grow your business network? Consider joining a professional organization or gaining valuable insight from a few good reads.

Professional Memberships
No matter where you are on your career path, enhancing your skills while connecting with other professionals in your field is a solid move.

Alumnus Richard Marshall VI, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering Technology at the Westminster, Colorado, campus, certainly knows the power of such networking. A month before his 2008 graduation, Marshall attended a symposium hosted by the Colorado Association of Biomedical Equipment Technicians (CABMET, and, as a direct result, landed an internship that set his career in motion. According to Marshall, professional organizations provide “an opportunity to connect with others in your field, learn new things and advance your career. Most of all, they provide face time with industry experts who can significantly influence your professional success.”

Today, Marshall holds several certifications in addition to his degree. He’s also supervisor of clinical engineering with HSS Inc. at University of Colorado Health – Northern Colorado and president of CABMET.

Consider the power of networking and strengthening your résumé through these organizations, or do a quick Google search for others. DVU’s Career Services and other support teams can also provide guidance.

Business and Management


Health Sciences


Justice Administration

Reading Recommendations from the Deans
Staying on top of their fields – and on top of their games – is critical for DeVry’s national college deans and has helped them power their own careers forward. Avid readers, the deans highly recommend picking up or downloading these career-focused and thought-provoking books and magazines.

Dr. Oscar Gutierrez: Senior National Dean, College of Business & Management

  • Managing in a Time of Great Change (author: Peter F. Drucker). Over the years I’ve always found Drucker’s articles on management, society and change very current, and I go back to them whenever I can.
  • The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership (author: Richard Branson). I’m very impressed by his learning style and his seemingly reckless ability to motivate others.
  • Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself (author: Alan Alda). Alda’s memoirs are funny and insightful.

Dr. Ahmed Naumaan: National Dean, College of Engineering & Information Sciences

  • Data and Goliath (author: Bruce Schneier). This book examines issues of privacy and security that arise in today’s era of mass surveillance, both government and commercial, from collection and analysis of Big Data.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek. One of my favorites, this periodical provides coverage of science and technology, as well as business activity, within the technology sector.
  • The Moment of Clarity (authors: Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B. Rasmussen). This book addresses solving strategic business development issues under conditions of uncertainty.

Dr. Brian Bethune: National Dean, Colleges of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Health Sciences and Media Arts & Technology

  • Fast Company. This magazine inspires me to keep thinking in new ways by providing insight into some of today’s most creative thought leaders.
  • The New Yorker. I keep up with longer format articles and short-format fiction through this time-honored publication.
  • Wired. For a quick read on emerging technologies, this is my go-to.

Emily Smith: Senior National Dean, Program Development

  • America Needs Talent: Attracting, Educating & Deploying the 21st Century Workforce (author: Jamie Merisotis). I recently picked this up. It’s an interesting take on workforce development and how we foster talent in the labor market.
  • Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential within in Us All (authors: Tom Kelley and David Kelley). This offers a great introduction to design thinking and suggests that creativity is intrinsic to all of us.
  • Yes Please (author: Amy Poehler). I just finished the audio version of this book and plan to get the paperback and read it again! It was candid, compassionate, extremely funny and often profound.