Campus Engagement Can Help You Reach Your Career Goals
Simply coming to college is a tremendous milestone in the life of a student. College provides a platform for a student to build a career upon, whether it be for academic learning, socializing, or networking. No matter if your college is large or small, there are resources and people ready to support you in order to help you accomplish all that you can for your career. Campus engagement is vital to success beyond the classroom and achieving your career goals. Joining clubs, attending events, and going to office hours are some of my favorite ways to engage with my campus.
I attend Arizona State University, consistently one of the largest universities in America, but I attend classes at a small campus. ASU is divided into four campuses, mine being the smallest one of all. I see my placement at ASU West campus as a gift, since it is a small community within a huge university. The roughly 400 students that live in the residential halls have become a family to me. There is a reason that they have become family though. It was achieved through me sitting in my room and avoiding contact with everyone. Inversely, it was done through actively being engaged on my campus. Every time I eat at the dining hall I try to build new friendship by joining tables with people I don’t know. Just about everyone has been kind and accepting towards my dining offers. Food is a great way to engage with people because it gives you a chance to learn about the other person and hear about opportunities that arise. Some of these opportunities can lead to future job offers or an occupation in the industry that you would like.
Every person is unique and has personal interests. Most often these interests can be reflected in the clubs that students join on campus. I know that Arizona State University has hundreds of clubs and the application process makes it easy to create new ones. Clubs are a great way to express passions and find new hobbies. Clubs have the ability to bring like-minded people together for a single purpose, which can be translated into a powerful force. In my own experience I have benefited from attendance at club meetings and have seen what happens when you put similar people together. During my first semester of college I attended a business club meeting called Business2Business featuring a local speaker from the community. All of the club members had the collective idea to bring in additional speakers from industries we were interested in and that would be beneficial to our lives. We hand selected the speakers to join that year. I ended up getting an internship through one of the speakers with the promise of future employment after college. Just attending club meetings that you think you may be interested in can pay dividends for your career.
Professors are an amazing resource. Not only are they knowledgeable in whatever field that they study, but they normally have connections within that field as well. Attending office hours is a chance to really get to know your professors on a deeper level and is a great way to receive letters of recommendation and research opportunities. By attending office hours, I got to know my business law professor well. I soon learned that she was seventeenth generation Chilean. I told her that I was planning to study abroad there. She not only introduced me to a dean of a college in Chile, but also invited me to join her at a conference in Santiago of the trade ministers that coincided with my time there. In summary, I revert back to the common mantra, “It’s not what you know, but whom.”
College is a wonderful place to start working on your career. There are many ways to further propel yourself into the career of your choice. The information you learn in classes can only take you so far, so active engagement on campus in necessary. Joining clubs, attending professor office hours, and participating in events are some of the easiest ways to get started.
Kyle Ruggaard is currently a Junior at Arizona State University. He is pursuing a double major in Global Management and Supply Chain Management with a certificate in Applied Business Data Analytics. Although growing up in Arizona, Kyle was born in Hong Kong, China and has lived in numerous places abroad. He enjoys travelling and is constantly planning his next trip. When Kyle is not abroad he enjoys hiking, skiing, and mentoring others to achieve their potential.
Kyle is a Pearson Campus Ambassador and also a Pearson Student Insider. To learn more about the Insiders program and apply, click here.