When notices about clubs and student organizations start to roll in, you might wonder if you can spare the time and energy to get involved. You may be surprised to learn that it’s a great college experience and a decision that can impact your future. Here are five benefits you can gain if you join a student organization in college.
Develop a Professional Network
With classes, exams, work and social life consuming your time, developing your professional network might be the last thing on your mind. But college is a great place to start building up a professional network for the future. Your network will begin to develop naturally simply by taking classes with people who share your interests and goals. Joining a club or student organization related to your field of study can boost your network. It helps you meet peers and professionals outside of the classroom. The friends you make while participating in campus clubs can be a great resource to connect you to industry influencers in the future.
Build Leadership Skills
Success in your career will depend quite a bit on your ability to manage others in a leadership role. And while you may not start out as a manager right out of college, a solid foundation of leadership experience can help you achieve success quickly. After you’ve joined a student organization, taking on an administrative or official role can help you test and build your leadership skills. You’ll gain experience in delegating and conflict resolution, while learning your leadership personality. And best of all, you’ll gain these new skills in a low risk setting so you’ll be well prepared for the future.
Round out Your Resume
How do you stand out among applicants for a job? And how can you get a job that requires experience when you’ve just graduated? Companies will look for a balance of experience and enthusiasm in evaluating new graduates. Participation in a club is one way to demonstrate your commitment and enthusiasm to your field. Spending several semesters participating in a student organization also adds a degree of longevity to your resume that a series of classes can’t. And, working your way up to a leadership role in a club proves your ability to set goals and achieve them. This is great experience that can enhance your resume.
Refine Soft Skills for Future Jobs
When you start to apply for jobs, you’ll quickly realize that there is a list of skills that are important to companies but may not be listed in in the job description. These soft skills, or personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and succeed in the workplace, are often not learned in the classroom.
These might include:
- Professional communication
- The ability to collaborate as part of a group
- Time management
- Critical thinking
Participation in a student organization helps you develop, practice and refine these skills outside a classroom.
Businesses like to hire employees who are already well-versed in these soft skills. Companies you apply to will see these skills reflected in your resume and you’ll have a chance to demonstrate them in-person during job interviews.
Give Back to the Community
Making a positive different in someone’s life feels great. Working with a student organization that provides services to the community can help you relieve stress, connect you to others and improve your self-confidence. But it doesn’t just give you good feelings. It also helps you practice important skills that can be used in the workplace, such as communication, problem solving, and project planning.
College classes give you the knowledge you need for a future job. But if you join a student organization in college, you’ll gain much more. New opportunities, new skills, and new friends that can prepare you for your future life.