When you research the top things you should experience as a college student, the importance of joining an org, volunteering, getting a part-time job, or finding some way to be involved on campus is certainly highlighted. Here are some of the personal experiences I have accumulated ever since I entered college in order to be more active, especially when it’s difficult to meet people normally due to COVID-19.
Join a student org that relates to your major
Whether you’re majoring in the C.T. Bauer College of Business or the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, joining an
organization that relates to your major will help you greatly in a professional sense. As an undergraduate, it’s really important to gain skills required in your future career field as well as exposure with your field’s professionals to widen your employment opportunities.
In my case, I joined the Asian Business Student Association (a.k.a. ABSA) upon my enrollment to UH because I wanted a group of peers that can
help me understand more of the corporate world. It’s also a great place to make significant relationships as I get to interact with not only fellow student members, but also the organization’s alumni.
Joining an organization that assists with professional development really helps you to get the hands-on experience you don’t get to learn inside a classroom. I’m really glad I joined ABSA because of the people I get to meet and the experience I get to learn; it’s also a place where I can challenge myself by running for a leadership position – which is something that looks great on your resume once you start job hunting.
Additional Tip: If you’re debating whether the organization you’re about to join will be a great fit for you, you can check out their social media (examples being Instagram or Facebook) to see their weekly updates. From their platform, you’re able to gain an insight into the type of professional and social events they host, and you can use those to determine whether this organization is something you want to commit to.
Work on building self-confidence
During this time of the coronavirus pandemic, I would say students have the best chances to join and commit to an organization. With everything being held virtually, including professional workshops and social events, students have larger access to potential opportunities. What really helped me to get out of my comfort zone is the fact that all these upperclassmen don’t really know who I am. Instead of feeling troubled by the possibility of me embarrassing myself in front of them, I view them more as mentors that will help me achieve the things I want to achieve.
Become a tutor or teaching assistant
If you’re looking to utilize your knowledge on a particular subject, you can sign up to become a tutor or a TA for a class you’re confident in. A good thing to know is that the CASA tutoring service is offered online via Microsoft Teams due to the pandemic, and anyone can sign up as long as they have taken a math course on the UH campus. Tutoring other students is a great way to get a deeper level of understanding of the subject as well as meet new people along the way. With everything being virtual, scheduling is also flexible as you can choose which time/date you are available to tutor. You also get to earn some extra funds along the way.
Be more open-minded to opportunities
My final tip is to just be more open-minded because you never know what kind of opportunity awaits you. When I first joined Cooglife Magazine, I only thought about writing as a hobby to pass time. But as I got more immersed with this organization, I started to learn more about graphic design, a skill I hope to use further in this organization and in my future career. Throughout the many different types of involvement you choose to have as an undergraduate, you get to build wonderful relationships with those around you as well as acquire skills that will benefit you in the long run.
Graphic by Autumn Rendall via Canva