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.


CareerCATS: Opening the door to your future. by Christy R

CareerCATS: Opening the door to your future.

CareerCATS is an Ohio University student marketing organization that promotes services offered by the Office of Career Services. Members of the club volunteer during the Career Fair and support the Office in many other projects.  CareerCATS organizes at least one big event each quarter with the intention of making it as relevant as possible to the majority of students on campus, regardless of their individual major and career goals. During fall quarter the club organized a Résumé Blitz to help students to polish their résumés before the Career Fair.  In winter quarter they organized a “Credit Wise” workshop aimed at educating students about student loans, credit cards and credit history. Currently, the club is planning an etiquette dinner for the spring quarter.

CareerCATS offers an opportunity to gain valuable experience in a variety of areas. This group is the ideal place to develop skills in writing, presenting, graphic design, event planning, problem solving, organization and leadership. The club has something for every major and values each member. Fine art students can expand their professional portfolios by working on promotional material for the various events organized by CareerCATS and the Office. Communications students can develop their public speaking and writing skills by giving presentations about CareerCATS and the Career Services Office to different organizations across campus, as well writing for the group’s monthly newspaper.

For University College students, CareerCATS can help students decide on the major they want to pursue by discovering opportunities they may not have known about before. Lastly, being involved in the group is a great résumé builder!

To learn more about CareerCATS including information on how to join, please check out Career Services’ website.

—Written by Anna Morlang, CareerCATS Coordinator for the Office of Career Services