Ohio University Office of Career Services


Using Clubs and Organizations to Improve Your Marketability by Tyler

Summer is over and thousands of students have returned to Athens to begin another year at Ohio University.  Along with the upperclassmen are new freshmen faces, eager to begin their collegiate journey.  After kissing their parents goodbye and settling into their new rooms, the freshmen headed to the Convo for the Involvement Fair.  Here, hundreds of student organizations set up shop, showcasing the best they have to offer in an effort to win the hearts of the wide-eyed freshmen.  The scene could be pretty overwhelming, even for a senior like myself, but these clubs and organizations can provide outstanding opportunities to increase your marketability to future employers.  Here are some helpful tips on making the most out of the over 350 organizations Ohio University has to offer.

Don’t join too many organizations.

Did you sign up at 20 tables at the Involvement Fair?  There is nothing wrong with that.  Go to the first couple meetings of each club to learn more about them and to meet some current members.  You can only learn so much from a postcard or 30-second talk at the Involvement Fair, and you won’t truly find out if a club is right for you until you attend some meetings.  Once you get a sense of what each organization has to offer, limit yourself to a few that you really enjoy.  If you try to do too much at once, especially as a new freshman just starting college, you may become overwhelmed and end up dropping all organizations.

The key to a successful experience in student organizations is to find a few and be committed to them.  Get involved early and make friends with members.  If you stay involved you may gain a leadership role by the end of freshman year and advance further as the years progress.  Employers will be more impressed by a candidate holding leadership roles in two or three organizations than one who is a member of ten, but a leader of none.

Find the right balance of work and play with organizations.

Everybody knows it’s important to find the right balance of work and play to have a successful college career, and the same holds true for success with student organizations.  The snowboarding club may have had a more impressive and memorable table at the involvement fair, but the chemistry club may provide you with experiences and opportunities to aid you in your future career.  However, don’t be afraid to join the snowboarding or juggling club if they interest you.  Employers look for well-rounded candidates and involvement and leadership roles in these social organizations can show that you have multiple skill sets and interests outside of your major.  Just make sure you check out the organizations geared towards your major or career goals as well, as they can provide you with enriching experiences you won’t find in the classroom.

Organizations can help you find your major.

There is nothing wrong with started college as an undecided major.  Career Services can help you explore all the possibilities and aid your selection of your perfect major.  Another way to test out different career paths is to join student organizations geared toward those paths.  Most organizations do not have a major requirement, allowing all students to become members and participate.  Trying out different organizations is a great way to test out a field without having to declare your major or committing to ten weeks of an introductory class.

Student organizations are a vital supplement to coursework during your college career.  The right mix of organizations and leadership roles in them will help improve your résumé and make you a better candidate for internships and jobs.  Remember to get involved early and stay committed to the organizations you find are right for you.

 

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