In posts past we discussed different organizations and groups you can join when you arrive at college in the USA. We talked about fraternities and sororities, sports clubs and teams, and religious centers. There are a number of ways to connect with people of a like mind no matter what your interest. So today we’ll touch on another group to check into: academic organizations.
What is an academic organization? Why join an academic organization? Who’s interested in that?
Academic organizations are groups that focus on a general major, like engineering or business, and provide a network for those who join. Not only do they create camaraderie within a field of study, they also provide opportunities further down the line for internships and potential jobs.
But understand, these groups are not just about signing your name on a piece of paper; you are required to do a bit of work to earn your place. Many of these groups have a few initial requirements: minimum GPA, letters of recommendation, interviews, you may even have to pay a small fee. And once you are met with approval, you may have to serve a trial period as a prospective member before becoming a full blown member.
The work that goes into achieving a position within an academic organization will most certainly pay off. You’ll establish relationships with professors, have the chance to attend guest lectures, and possibly go to national (or international) conventions. Not only does all of this bolster a resume, it could also lead to graduate and post-graduate opportunities, like publication in academic magazines or journals.
If you are a student who is interested in strengthening your professional life while still traversing the halls of academia, be sure to ask your professors about any academic organizations on campus. These groups exist for students who are interested in delving further, those who want to more fully integrate with their subject and major, those who want to be leaders and experts in their field of study. It takes work and extra effort, but that’s exactly why they exist, to provide a network for those who are driven to succeed and achieve.