Beyond the (Text)Books: 6 Reasons Why YOU Should Be Involved in Student Organizations
On-campus organizations are one way to make the most out of your college years, preparing you for your career and more.
We go to college to get a degree that will prepare us for a career, so why not go the extra mile to get that dream job? Student organizations add an oomph to your resume, develop your character and more. Whether it’s major-related or just for fun, there are many benefits to joining clubs. Here’s why:
1. You can put it on your resume.
Involvement in on-campus organizations can be just as valuable as work/internship experience. Student organizations provide a worthwhile experience you won’t get from just going to class. Clubs show employers you’re hard-working, committed and proactive in learning more about your field. Even for clubs unrelated to your major, they help develop your interpersonal skills (increasingly important to employers). Leadership positions can also make something seemingly unrelated to your career more relevant. For PR/journalism/communications majors, that includes event planning, social media, writing and more
2. You stand out as an applicant.
Imagine an employer with a stack of applications. Where do you want yours to be? The answer is obviously on the top (and on top of their mind)! Clubs provide insight into who you are, and they differentiate you from other applicants. For organizations with a long history and university counterparts like the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and a parent organization like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), you’re part of a network. Chances are these employers were once in your shoes, so now you and the employer have a commonality. Club involvement is also something you can talk about during interviews, and often, employers expect you to be doing more than just going to class.
3. You network…and network...and network.
We often hear how it’s important to network, and in an increasingly competitive market, this is crucial. Clubs enable you to meet students in your field and these people may be your future coworkers. Student organizations create the perfect environment to develop meaningful connections. You can never network too much so take advantage of this opportunity because after you graduate, it’s more difficult (and more expensive).
4. You develop soft skills.
Students often focus on hard skills (e.g. writing press releases), but soft skills are just as, if not more, important. Soft skills are also major considerations for any employer and, in a nutshell, they are “people skills”—interpersonal communication, effective teamwork, adaptability, etc. Hard skills can be taught but soft skills are developed over time through experience. Clubs teach you how to effectively communicate with others, work with diverse people and manage your time.
5. You get endless opportunities.
Professional student organizations frequently bring guest speakers from various industries to share their experiences and insight. Clubs allow you to network with students and those in your desired industry, which can lead to potential internship/job opportunities. Clubs are also always trying to get members involved so they offer countless leadership opportunities! From committees to ambassador/assistant roles, clubs help you gain relevant hands-on experience.
6. You have fun!
The people you meet in clubs may be some of your lifelong friends. Especially in a place where you share common interests with other members, clubs are a great way to take a breather from your studies with people you can relate to.
As students, we’re busy juggling classes, work, family, and more, but joining clubs is something all students should take advantage of before they graduate.
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