Maximize Your College Experience; Get Involved!

October 7th, 2016

by Felicia Rowley

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It’s the start of a new school year for many students attending colleges and universities. It is also a new beginning, whether it’s your freshman or senior year of college.  And if you’ve always wanted to get involved, whether it be a club or to spend some hours volunteering, now is the perfect time to do so!

More than ever, being involved has become one of the most important things you can do while in college. We’re living in an increasingly tech focused world that has made job and internship opportunities more readily available and easier to find. However, the people we meet and connect with will open more valuable doors in a competitive job market. Being active outside of class and taking advantage of any opportunity to connect with other professionals will give you an edge on the competition and increase your odds of being hired after graduation. As a senior, I know from experience that staying involved in organizations, networking, and utilizing my university’s resources, contributed beyond belief toward my success as a future marketing professional. College is expensive, so why not make the most of your time and take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities available to you, right?

Opportunities and Resources

Every club, organization, and resource you utilize while at college is an opportunity. There will never be a time when you will be able to be involved in so many things that will most likely cost little to nothing. The reality is, it’s probably already included in your tuition. You have access to things like world-renowned speakers, interview and resume help, job boards, careers fairs, and much more. Take advantage!

Real world experience

The best part about joining a club is that there are plenty of ways to get involved whether it be a leadership position or to merely give assistance. However you choose to get involved, find a way.  Being involved in a professional organization can hold almost as much value as an internship. It shows both passion and professionalism.

Lifetime Friendships

Experience isn’t the only thing you’ll gain outside of the classroom. The connections you make with students who have the similar majors and interests can last a lifetime. Who knows, you might pick up a best friend along the way or meet someone you could end up working with down the road!

Networking with professionals

Along with making connections with other students, networking with other professionals can be an added value to your professional life. Events, speakers, professors, and organizations all allow for the opportunity to meet professionals in your area of interests. Meeting professionals and establishing relationships can benefit you by making it easier to find an internship or land a job. Ask them for advice on your resume, get interview tips, see if they’ll meet you for coffee once a month, these connections have the potential to affect your future career in ways you can’t imagine.

Boost your resume

At the end of the day, it’s all about making your resume stand out from the rest. Whether the opportunity is big or small, each one has the ability to positively impact your future career.  Senior year comes quick, the sooner you start enhancing your resume the better.

It’s never too late or too early to get involved in your university or even perhaps outside the realm of school. Options like local and national organizations are great ways to show your involvement in the community. By joining organizations like AMA of West Michigan, it shows passion for both your major and future career aspirations.

Now Get Busy!

If you’re a young professional (whatever your class standing) looking to get involved outside of the classroom, consider joining AMA of West Michigan. Become a member today and connect with a community of marketers that inspire dialogue, collaboration, and creativity. What are you waiting for? Go out and get involved!