This is a guest post by Euan Swan. He attends Indiana University.
College is now back in session; and with that comes many new opportunities, experiences, and memories to create. With the incredible amount of available freedom and time, deciding what to do when you’re not in class or studying can be difficult.
If you’re not careful, you may quickly find yourself using your time unwisely. On the other hand, if you take advantage of the many resources and student organizations on campus, you can have a better college experience than you ever imagined.
Last semester, I joined the entrepreneurship club, CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization), on my campus. I can say without a doubt that this is one of the best decisions I’ve made in college. Let me tell you why in 6 reasons.
6 Reasons Why The Best College Decision Is To Get Involved
1. I developed my interests.
When I first came to college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in life. I knew that I wanted a high-paying job doing something I enjoyed (like everyone else); but I didn’t know how to get there.
By joining the entrepreneurship club, I realized my increasing interest in the subject. After being a part of the club for a semester, I applied for the position of Technology Director…and ended up getting the position!
Now that I am part of the leadership team that runs the club, I can say with certainty that I have taken my interest in entrepreneurship much further than I previously thought.
Once every couple of months, the club hosts a “pitch night” where all members are free to pitch their business ideas. Once a member has pitched their idea, all other members critique the idea and give feedback. Participating in these nights has given me a greater insight into the different kinds of businesses that could become a reality.
2. I met like-minded people.
As I already had an interest in entrepreneurship before joining the club, I knew other people in the club would share the same interest.
Exchanging ideas and discussing entrepreneurship with people who enjoyed it as much as I did felt great. Plus, surrounding myself with people who cared about business the same way I did, gave me the feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself.
Now I have friends that I can reach out to whenever I need to help mold any ideas for a business.
3. I improved my professional network.
Apart from the club leadership team, the club consists of over 100 members. Connecting with the majority of the members, as well as the new ones coming in this year, has increased my network tenfold!
If you haven’t heard, increasing your professional network is incredibly beneficial for your career! Now that I’m a part of the entrepreneurship club on the Indiana University campus, I may have the pleasure of knowing the next Mark Cuban, Scott Dorsey, or Curt Ferguson.
If I didn’t join this club, I wouldn’t have the connections that I made over the past year. And, I probably would miss out on future opportunities where my network would have helped me.
4. I added a resume booster.
Being the Technology Director of the entrepreneurship club has also padded my resume.
When applying for a job, it is important that you have a sufficient amount of campus involvement. To a recruiter, being involved demonstrates that you care what is going on in your community and that you want to contribute to its growth.
If a recruiter saw my Technology Director position for a forward thinking, innovative club, I am sure they would be impressed.
5. I learned how to manage my time wisely.
I have many commitments at school, like going to classes, studying for classes, and remembering to eat to name a few! So, adding the entrepreneurship club to my plate took effort.
Fortunately, I was able to manage all my other priorities, as well as attend and participate in the club.
6. I helped other people develop their interests.
Now that I am a part of the leadership team for the club, I have certain responsibilities that I must adhere to. I must help newcomers develop their interest in entrepreneurship, as the previous leadership team helped me.
The leadership team is responsible for organizing all events and ensuring that all the members take something away from each event. Once every year we have a “Napkin Night” where all members write down a business idea on a napkin.
The napkins are passed around to all other members until the original members receive their napkins back. Once the members receive their napkins back, they have multiple suggestions or new ways in which they could look at their idea.
Helping members to form their business ideas brings me a great sense of joy and involvement. I would say that there is no better feeling in the world than helping someone find what they are truly interested in!
You Won’t Regret Campus Involvement
Joining the entrepreneurship club has been an exhilarating experience. I developed my interests, met like-minded people, built my professional network, padded my resume, learned how to manage my time wisely, and helped other people develop their interests.
Although my experience with the entrepreneurship club may not apply directly to you, don’t think for a second that the 6 reasons listed above cannot also work for you. It doesn’t matter how you get involved in college; it only matters that you do.
Once you find the right fit, make it a priority to contribute to that involvement as much as you can. Your peers will respect you, and you will respect yourself for staying committed to your interests.
So with that, go get involved!