The importance of student organizations
By: Jessie Nemesi (Marketing '15) originally posted at https://www.uni.edu/prp/blog/ on 3/4/2015
Over the course of my college career, I have had the opportunity to be involved with four student organizations that have made an impact on me as a student and as a young professional. I am sure that you hear all the time: "Get involved! Join organizations! Get prepared for the real world!" As a student who is currently interviewing for full time positions, these statements could not be more true. Student organizations can help you in many situations including: answering situational interview questions, creating passions and hobbies, and giving you opportunities in leadership.
"So, tell me about yourself." "Tell me about a time when..." These are the questions that most students are terrified of in an interview situation. But, with student organization experience, you will be able to talk about some of your passions and give examples to real life situations that you may have been involved with. For the question, "tell me about yourself," student organization experience will allow you to give the employer a sense of what you are interested in. For example, I am involved in student government, a sorority and a business organization. If I can mention those three things, they can see that I am passionate about leadership and getting involved in many different types of organizations. For the situational questions, student organizations allow you to have real world experience, especially within the business organizations which will give you experience in your major area of study. For example, if you are a finance major and you join a sorority, you could become the philanthropy chair and be in charge of managing the finance of events. When an employer asks you "tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult situation?" you would be able to tell them about your experience managing an event. This is just one example that exhibits how experience in student organizations can be beneficial in developing real skills, and allows you to exhibit this to employers.
Some of you could be reading this blog and be thinking, "I already have passions and hobbies. I don't need a student organization for that." But let me tell you, if that is the case, then why not capitalize on those hobbies, and surround yourself with other students who also enjoy those hobbies? This past year I served as a director for Northern Iowa Student Government. I never pictured myself as someone who would get involved in student government, but after working on a campaign, I realized that it was an organization where I could be surrounded by other people who were as passionate about students getting involved and how to help them. I have really enjoyed my time and it has allowed me to really focus my career path on working with students in the future.
Having leadership experience is crucial for college students who are entering the workplace. Leadership experience can include leading a project in a student organization, becoming an assistant or working under an executive member, or even just giving opinion. Any time you can take a next step professionally and become a leader, you should do so. Being in a leadership role can teach you more about yourself than you ever thought you wanted to know! You will decide what kind of projects you enjoy taking charge of, people you like to surround yourself with, and your leadership style. In student organizations, you will have those leadership opportunities come around quite frequently, and once again will give you a great talking point during an interview.
Student organizations offer experiences that cannot be had in a classroom environment, and offer the opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally. Student organizations also give you the opportunity to network within specific employer markets and with other students of similar interests. The experience gained through student organizations can help focus career aspirations and appeal to employers when they are making hiring decisions.
To find out more about UNI student organizations visit: https://cgi.access.uni.edu/cgi-bin/student_orgs/student_orgs.cgi
Or to find out more about UNIBusiness organizations visit: https://business.uni.edu/undergraduate/student-organizations