Going into my first year of university, I used to think that joining clubs was reserved for obnoxious try hard kids with too much time on their hands and not enough common sense to get an actual job. It is clear that for some reason I resented the idea of joining a university club. However, during the finals season of my second year, I came across a posting “This club wants you!”. I had looked into joining an association at the beginning of that year but quickly changed my mind when they mentioned that I had to pay a “membership fee”. So, I had followed them on social media and forgot about the club until the golden opportunity arose. Quickly, I clicked the link, submitted my information and low and behold a month later I was accepting a position on their executive team. Currently, I volunteer with three different clubs at my university and plan to keep volunteering until I graduate in my final year. Now, you might be wondering what happened? Well let me tell you about the 5 benefits I found to joining university clubs:
1- New friends
It might be awkward to admit, but I’m not very good at making friends. It was very difficult for me to form meaningful friendships with people around me at the university and I found a sense of community and belonging in clubs that I was lacking otherwise. Making acquaintances is relatively easy in university, but creating those deep relationships and connections with people is a different story. So when you spend countless hours collaborating with, meeting, and talking to your team mates, you tend to get to know their personalities, quirks and all sorts of details about their lives that make it easier to create a solid foundation for a great friendship.
2- Get a great job!
The thing about people who join clubs at the university is the fact that they are high achievers. They want to kick as$ and do more with their lives. They are hard working, dedicated, and oriented towards their goals. This is why it is not very shocking to realize that a lot of them are willing to help you get a step up in your professional life. I recently got my first professional job through a reference in my club. She helped me with the application process and even sent me her resume as a guide. I personally found that the jobs you get through these connections are of higher quality as in they pay better and they look a lot nicer on a resume than a job in the service industry. Don’t get me wrong, I am not degrading or insulting those types of jobs since I was a waitress, but they can be very stressful with little return for your value. It doesn’t end there, though! You can also make sure to add your teammates to your professional network and revisit those connections later for your career.
3- Resume booster
One thing I found hard to understand was the fact that having participated in clubs is a plus for your resume. Employers are increasingly looking for more dynamic people to join their teams. For example, one of the giants of tech, Google, implements the 20% time policy where employees can use 20% of their time to work on different projects. Top performing employers want engaged employees. The 20% time policy was found to produce creativity and increased engagement. Additionally, it produced a positive work environment within the organization.
4- Productive way to spend some free time
Another thing I found to be true at university is that I have a lot more free time than I think I do. Most club work would probably take up to 3 hours of my time a week. Everyone has a spare 3 hours of their time to spend doing productive stuff. When you’re on the bus, when you take your study break or even instead of watching a youtube video. These clubs are all run by students, so most of the work done by them is super student friendly and is usually very limited since everyone is already busy. Additionally, it’s such a small organization so whatever work you have to accomplish will for sure not take up a large portion of your time.
5- Get invited to awesome events
I think a really big bonus to joining clubs is being updated about all the events that are hosted by the clubs. You’ll be updated on all the events that are going on from simple movie nights to intricate networking brunches with the industry’s leading professionals. Events are important because not only do they give you a break from studying (and sometimes even offer free food!), but they also give you a chance to meet with people from your industry to ask questions or consult with them about any one specific topic. A bonus is that since you’re so integrated in the club, you’ll be less likely to forget about the events unlike when you just record them on your calendar.