Tomorrow all of the clubs at the University of Arizona will be on the mall trying to convince you to join their organization. By the time you walk across the UA mall you’ll probably end up with tons flyers and tons of options. Here is my 2 cents on how to get the most out of a club.
Why you should join a club
Wow. So many reasons.
New friends – I met some of my best friends by joining different clubs.
Real world experience – Apply what you learn in classes to real situations. You look for internships to get experience in your field. Don’t forget that clubs can also give you experience.
Resume improvement – Getting involved on campus always looks good on your resume. However, some people join as many clubs as they can and never show up to any club meetings or events just to be able to put more clubs on their resume. What these people don’t realize is when your interviewing for jobs you WILL be asked about what experience you have. You might even be asked how you contributed to a specific club listed on your resume. And if you weren’t active in the clubs listed on your resume. You are now in deep shit. If you were active in the clubs listed on your resume you have a leg up in that interview!
How to pick the right club
Be prepared for the club fair! There are a lot of clubs and you want to make sure you pick the right ones.
Not all clubs are created equal. I once ignorantly joined a club that had very minimal activity or opportunity for leadership positions. We had meetings once a month and at that 20 min. meeting the president told club members what had happened in the technology industry that month. Boring. I have an app for that. I don’t need a meeting for tech news. I wanted a club where I could actually be INVOLVED. And I wanted the work I would do to have a direct impact on the club. I also wanted this work to build new skills and leadership qualities.
Clubs in your major.– Clubs give you the opportunity to be well rounded. If you have already picked your major don’t limit yourself by only looking for clubs within your major. A club that’s not in your major can sometimes give you better experiences. For example I was a MIS major and the boring club mentioned earlier was associated with my major. However it did nothing for me. Loans Across Borders wasn’t associated with my major, however I gained many experiences some directly related to my major (web development and web analytics) and some indirectly (leadership, management, event planning, marketing).
Small clubs vs. big clubs.smaller clubs with less members have different pro’s and con’s than big clubs with more members. I have a very biased opinion on this matter. I was a member of Loans Across Borders which is small with around 20 members. I also was a member of another organization which is large with around 120 members. I had leadership positions in both organizations. I made many friends through the large organizations however I found it difficult to make improvements and alterations to the position’s duties because the organizations was so large and the position was very specific. In Loans Across Borders I had wayy more flexibility and creative thinking was encouraged. If I had an idea I presented it and it was voted upon. I can’t think of any cons for small clubs:)
When you go to the club fair and talk to the members representing their club have questions prepared. Some good questions to ask:
What events and activities do you have planned for the semester?
How do members that are not on the eboard get involved in your club?
How many members are in your organization?
What positions are available?
What kind of experience will I get if I join your club?