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Why You Should Join a Student Organization

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Esmeralda Fisher
Tau Beta Pi Spring 2013 Initiates

Did you know that students who are active members of organizations tend to have more positive college experiences than those who aren’t?

“Educational researchers tell us that students tend to do much better in college when they have high levels of engagement, meaning they take an active role in their overall college experience,” said Kathy Zerda, director of the Program for Mastery in Engineering Studies (PROMES). “One way for students to do that is to participate with their peers in extracurricular activities such as student organizations.”

There are many benefits of joining a student organization. Significant aspects of organizational involvement include a heightened sense of connection that comes from meeting like-minded colleagues, and working towards professional and personal goals outside of academics.

Five Reasons Why You Should Join a Student Organization

Networking
Student organization activities allow you to meet and work with other students, alumni, and company representatives who have knowledge to share. An extensive contact list is also highly valuable when starting your internship and career search.

Social Skills
You’ll discover new people and new places on your journey as a college student. By participating in student organizations, you’ll learn effective communication and presentation skills that will serve you well in college and in your career.

Professional Experience
Student chapters of professional organizations give students the opportunity to learn more about particular fields, such as civil engineering or mechanical engineering, and to take part in events and activities that put engineering concepts into practice. 

Leadership Skills
If you become an officer within the organization, you’ll learn how to balance the challenges of decision-making, delegating and accountability that come with being a successful leader. You’ll also learn about fundraising and financial management, marketing and working in teams – all of which are essential skills to prepare you for your career.

Friendships and Fun
“Students who participate actively in organizations on campus become well-rounded individuals who are connected to their communities,” said Zerda. “Contrast this feeling of connection with the experience of students who remain solitary or who only come to campus for their classes. It is a much different experience, and can be far less fulfilling.” Student organizations help you keep priorities in focus, and having a familiar group of friends with whom to study and take part in recreational activities significantly impacts the perceived satisfaction of engineering students.

The Cullen College of Engineering will host an engineering student organization fair on September 3, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Engineering Commons. Students will be able to meet with organization representatives and learn how to get involved.

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