Universities and colleges offer an abundance of different clubs, committees, and student organizations you can get involved with.
There’s everything from sports teams to industry-focused conferences to the option of starting your own new club. With so many opportunities available, there are many factors to consider when determining which student group (or groups) you’re best suited for. Here are three important questions you should think about when looking for the student group that’s right for you.
What do you want to gain from joining a group?
The first thing you should consider is why you want to get involved. Are you looking for a club that reflects your hobbies? Or are you looking for a group related to your major that will help you learn more about your target industry? You want to choose committees that spark your interest, otherwise attending weekly meetings and participating in events will feel more like a chore than a fun extracurricular. If you want to find a hobby, see if your school hosts an Activities Fair during orientation week so you can see what groups are available. If you’re looking for a committee related to your major, try reaching out to older students and ask them which clubs or conferences they’ve found to be the most beneficial.
What skills will you learn from this group?
Getting involved with career-related committees is an excellent way to prepare yourself for the workplace. Attending conferences is one way you can develop soft skills, gain experience pertaining to your career, and network with industry professionals to learn about different career paths. As well as applying for conferences that your school offers, be sure to see what external conferences are available to you. Many universities extend conference applications to students outside of their school, which can be a great way to connect with new individuals. Industry leaders also host conferences during the summer so you can continue to plan your career in your time off.
How many groups should you join?
Finding a balance between hobbies and career-development is important – you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin, especially if you’re taking a full course load. Try picking two clubs to start with, one relating to leisure and one relating to your career, and see how you manage school with these extracurriculars. You can be a part of as many clubs as you want once you’ve mastered this balance!