2 answers

During college does joint organizations make it more difficult to succeed?

Asked Rochester, New York

I’m in a total of 5 organizations on campus and some are sports and others are connected with the SGA. #success #career

2 answers

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio


The most important organizations that you could become involved in while in college, if you are desiring to succeed in your education/career journey, are those related to your career area. This will allow you to learn about the inside view of the career area and put you in the know regarding internships and coop programs. These professional organizations are that way the professionals develop and advance in their careers, as they allow for face to face interpersonal networking which provides an opportunity for dialogue with real time exchange of information and ideas.


There are several steps involved in positioning yourself for success:

  • get to know yourself well enough to select a suitable career area
  • get to know in person people who are working in your career area of interest
  • locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which professionals in your career field belong. Many times there are student chapters of those organizations on campus. Your academic adviser, favorite professors, department head of your career area, and the reference librarian at your campus or local library should be able to help you locate such helpful groups.

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

Lashay’s Answer

Updated

Great question! I caution all students to join clubs or organizations at the right time and try to be selective. The right time to join is the second semester or the beginning of your sophmore year. During the first semester of freshman year everything is new so you should give yourself time to get familiar with instructor expectations, study time you will need, and time to eat, sleep and groom ( hair, shower, clothes on etc.). You should also carve out time to relax, but not too much/ maybe an hour a day or two. I tend to recommend taking study breaks for :15 minutes of every hour you study. I have met with students who got over involved and spread themselves thin. I feel a safe amount of organizations at any one time is no more than two or three, that includes a Greek organization/affiliation. I hope this helps! Good luck with your education and memberships!

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