One of the first and most important steps in college is choosing your major. Once you've decided on your major it's important that you get plugged in and make the most out of it.
Joining an organization within your major is a great way to stay motivated, inspired and connected with your field of study. These student-led organizations can provide endless benefits that will enhance your college experience and prepare you for your future career.
Taylor Ennis a senior public relations student at Auburn University has been a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) for two years and an officer for one year. Ennis has seen first hand the rewards of joining an organization within her major.
"Where I have found PRSSA to be helpful is that it gives students access to professionals who are already working in the public relations, marketing or communications field," said Ennis. "Since joining Auburn PRSSA two years ago, I have seen students invest in their futures by networking with other public relations students and marketing themselves to successful people in our industry like our advisory board."
Aside from helping students make connections with professionals in their field, organizations like PRSSA also provide students with internship opportunities, host career development workshops and invite weekly guest speakers that give students advice.
Hunter Jordan a senior supply chain management student at Auburn has reaped numerous benefits from his membership in the Auburn Supply Chain Management Association (ASCMA).
"Being a member of ASCMA has caused me to be much more connected with the supply chain industry as well as others in my major," said Jordan. "It has been a great opportunity to take an active role in the supply chain management major."
Jordan has also enjoyed getting the chance to connect with professionals in the supply chain industry through his involvement in ASMCA.
"By far the biggest benefit of ASCMA is the opportunity to meet and interact with industry professionals," said Jordan. "Members have the opportunity to hear from speakers that come into our group meetings or have the chance to go to actual company sites and take a tour. A significant part of the job hunting process is networking, the ASCMA offers great opportunities for just that."
It's never too early to start networking but if searching for a job is not quite on your radar yet, these organizations can also help you find out more about what all your major will entail over the next four years.
"As the largest student-ran club in the College of Liberal Arts, PRSSA is also beneficial to younger public relations students who are looking to learn more about the major from upperclassmen," said Ennis.
In addition to connecting you with professionals and providing information about your major, being a member in these organizations while in college often also connects you to similar organizations at regional and national levels that you can continue to be involved in after graduation.
For instance, membership dues in Auburn's PRSSA chapter also include membership to the Public Relations Council of Alabama (regional) and Public Relations Society of America (national) associations.
"Besides branding yourself, I truly think that PRSSA is about building those mutually beneficial relationships that will carry you beyond graduation," said Ennis. "Whether it’s our university chapter or the local PRCA chapter, PRSSA is a great outlet to connect with other public relations students and mentors that are eager to help students navigate their four years at Auburn as a PR student."
Take advantage of the resources that these organizations within in your major provide to students.
According to Jordan, it will surely be worth your time.
"My advice is to be proactive in seeking chances to be involved in your major," said Jordan. "By taking an active role in an organization within your major, you are setting yourself up for much more success."
(Middle photo / http://harbert.auburn.edu/groups/ascma/)
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