March 16, 2016
Whether you are in college or graduate school, you most likely don’t have much free time. You are already trying to juggle all of your latest reading assignments, cramming for exams and writing papers—all while making it to class on time.
There are a lot of options for you to fill your free time with.
So much to do. So little time.
So why would you add another commitment to your already busy schedule when you are barely staying afloat? Here are a few reasons why joining a student organization can help you personally and professionally.
1. Your grades will thank you.
Believe it or not, the busiest people tend to be the most efficient and get the most done. Have you ever had a day where you have an assignment or something due and have all the time in the world to do it? If you’re like me, you usually end up procrastinating until the very last minute.
When you have a fuller schedule, you use your time wisely and become a better time manager.
That doesn’t mean that you should go fill your schedule with every student organization offered at your school. But don’t let adding a commitment outside of your classwork scare you. Your classwork could and will benefit from it!
2. Student organizations will help you discover your passions.
Student organizations are a good opportunity to try out what you think you may want to do when you graduate.
If you think you may be interested in a certain career, try to find a student organization that supports that career path. For example, if you’re interested in business, try looking at a business fraternity, marketing association, or any other organization offered within the business school.
3. Being involved (and not just an attendee) can help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses.
Stephanie, a Hiring Expert from Asurion says , “While it's a great idea to be involved in organizations that relate to your desired job field, any experience is better than none.” Full Quote
If you can’t find an organization that supports a certain career (or even if you can), you can still gain experience by actually getting involved like Stephanie mentioned.
Don’t just be another name on their roster. Be involved. Not only will this help develop your leadership skills, but you may find out that you are good (or maybe not so good) at certain skill sets.
Are you gifted at planning events? Take a leadership role in the organization that helps plan different events around the community. Are you interested in finance or accounting? Try looking for a role as a treasurer.
Don’t worry if you aren’t so good at certain things. That is what college is for. I thought that I was really great at administration, so I took an admin role within my student organization. Turns out, I was awful at it. Oh, am I ever so thankful that I figured that out then than after college and 3 months into an admin job!
Discover. Explore. Learn. Grow.
4. You will build well-rounded skill sets that will help you in the professional world—and employers love that.
As previously mentioned, student organizations are a great way to discover your strengths and weaknesses. Once you figure out your strengths (which don’t get me wrong, that’s a lifelong process), practice them.
Ashley, a Hiring Expert from Cardinal Health says, “If you have the opportunity to hold a leadership role in a student organization or another group, do it. This will make you a more well-rounded candidate and will help set you up for success throughout your time in college and after.” Full Quote
Stephanie, a Hiring Expert from Asurion adds, “It shows that you're a well-rounded individual, you know how to manage your time, you take initiative, and you are able to work well in teams.” Full Quote
5. You will be forced to get out of your comfort zone.
While you can be sure that you will have at least a few similar interests with most people in your student organization, you can also be sure that you will find a lot of people who aren’t like you. Organizations are often comprised of many people from different backgrounds all with the same interest in mind.
This will cause you to get out of your comfort zone and be involved with people that you may not have otherwise made connections with, giving you a chance to practice soft skills.
6. Networking. Networking. Networking.
You are joining an organization because you have taken an interest in what they do. Well, you can bet that most other members have joined for the same reason.
Not only will you make some great friends, but you will also expand your network. Chances are, you both are interested in a somewhat similar career path and be of value to one another down the road.