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The Benefits of a Student Organization

This week, the Public Relations Student Society of America at USF had our first general body meeting. It would be an understatement if I said it went well. There were so many new faces from all different levels and degrees and I’m so excited to see what the semester has in store for all of the current and new members.

Before I talk about the academic and professional benefits of joining an organization related to your major, I want to talk about the personal benefits I’ve taken away from being a part of PRSSA.

I transferred to USF from an out of state school and I didn’t know anyone. I felt like a tiny mouse in a huge storage room when I was sitting in class or walking around campus. I felt like I’d be considered a “number” to the school, after all, isn’t that the sterotyoe when attending a large school? Needless to say, I wasn’t just a number and I found my passion. Some of the personal benefits I’ve gained from being a part of PRSSA are, I see my career track more clearly, I’ve made many great friends and I’ve become extremely close with a lot of professors and professionals on and off of campus.

There is a never ending list of the academic and professional benefits to joining an organization on campus, but I will touch on five of the main points I think are most important.

  1. NETWORKING
    If you haven’t met people within your major, you’re behind. Meeting people and getting to know who they are and what they do is crucial to your success. Whether it is a staff member at your school or the guy picking his nose next to you in class, introduce yourself and pick their brain.
  2. RESUME BUILDER
    Any time you are involved in an organization, it is a great opportunity to put it on your resume and have something to talk about in interviews. Be sure you attend meetings or you won’t have much to talk about when your interviewer asks you what you’ve done in the organization.
  3. LEADERSHIP ROLES/ ABILITIES
    If there is a position open and you have time, run for it. Throw yourself in to a leadership position and I promise you will take multiple tools away from it. Not only will you learn more about the organization and help others, but you will learn about yourself and how you lead a group.
  4. WORKSHOPS
    USF PRSSA holds workshops for students that give them a chance to better themselves for interviews and applications. Most student organizations will hold meetings that provide you with tips on being successful.

  5. COMMUNITY SERVICE/ FUNDRAISING
    Most student organizations are non-profit, so fundraising and community service are essential pieces to their semester. Joining a fundraising committee will show you the important of fundraising and help see what it’s like to work in a non-profit environment. Community service on the other hand will give you personal rewards that you can’t buy anywhere.
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