Does being part of student government help boost employment chances?

I’m a freshman (undergraduate) engineering student (EECS) at a pretty competitive university, and was offered a spot in the school’s student government (already applied).

However, while there are benefits to being part of the government—such as meeting new people from all grades and even the professors and other admins at the uni, and being able to organise and facilitate events—I’ve frequently heard that it’s rather hard to maintain good GPA if you are involved in a student government.

The school’s pretty notorious for the rigor of courses and even grade “deflation”, and honestly, as someone who’s been planning to maintain at least a GPA above 3.6, I’m now a little bit scared to commit myself to the student government so soon.

So my questions are

  1. I’m not a STEM whiz nor a genius, I’m more of a hardworking student who has (so far) been able to get good grades by putting in the work. Would being involved in a student government compromise my GPA?
  2. Regardless of how student government activity affects my GPA (provided that I don’t fall too behind), does being part of the student government affect you favourably during employment (for engineering jobs)?

Don’t participate in SG in the hopes that it will directly affect your prospects in being hired- most entry-level engineering jobs will be focused on your skills. But if you are interested in being part of SG for itself, there are lots of ways that it can pop back up in early career stages, especially if you have leadership roles.

If SG is not something that you did in HS, consider getting involved second semester, once you have found your feet in your new world.

OP: Your situation is interesting because you are an international student studying at UCal-Berkeley.

Seems like participation would enhance your understanding of government in the US.

I cannot think of a more exciting student government position than at Berkeley.

You have to do something besides study. Student government at UC-Berkeley is a great activity.