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What leadership club did you participate in while in college? What did you like and dislike about it? Would you recommend it?

My name is Aiden. I am 17 years old and I live on the Southern Oregon Coast in a little town with about 1000 people.
I am going to George Fox University in Fall 2018. I have been a member of the Oregon Wing Civil Air Patrol for 2 1/2 years now and I have been a team leader. I would like to participate in a leadership club of some kind on campus and I would like a few suggestions from people who have already participated in some kind of leadership club.
What club did you participate in? What did you like and dislike about it? Would you recommend it?

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Bridget’s Answer

Hi Aiden,

I think it's great that you are looking for more leadership experiences - it will definitely benefit you in the long term. I would recommend finding clubs related to causes/hobbies/sports you are interested in and joining the leadership boards for these clubs. When I was in college, I played on a club sports team and also joined a Greek organization. I really enjoyed having leadership opportunities in both of the organizations because I was really passionate about them both.

The clubs available to you on your campus will depend on where you are going to college, but there are usually tons of options to choose from. I recommend trying a variety of clubs while you're a freshman - it's a great opportunity to meet others with similar interests as you. As you progress through school, you can get a better idea of which organizations you'd like to continue with and what types of leadership opportunities are available.

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Lindsey’s Answer

Hi Aiden- I was in 7 student organizations/clubs and held an array of positions that interested me. What is great about most clubs is they all hold a similar hierarchy structure for leadership boards that apply to real life company hierarchies too (ie. President, vice president, secretary, finance chair, social media director, event organizer...). I would try and align the position to your interests/major choice. Example, if you are a business major/finance major I would go for the secretary or finance position as that can provide you real life experience. I have provided some next steps below!

Lindsey recommends the following next steps:

visit your school organization page and find 3-4 that spark your interest. I found your school's here: https://www.georgefox.edu/offices/student-life/student-involvement/clubs/index.html
Get in touch with current members/ leaders to showcase interest
Contact the Faculty Organization Advisor to stand out from other members

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Matt’s Answer

While not strictly a leadership club, I did participate in my Faculty newspaper while at university. Overall it was an enjoyable experience and I learned something about myself. I was responsible for selling advertising for the paper, and sometimes designing the ads as well. I'm an introvert and approaching people to cold-sell them on an advertisement was initially quite tough for me. I persevered and talked to many small business owners near campus, some of whom bought ads for the paper. #achievementunlocked

The other thing I learned, which has since been reinforced multiple times, is that arbitrary sales targets (or any targets really) can be artificially limiting. I never thought to ask, "how many ads should I sell?" before starting. Turns out I sold more that term than in recent memory for the paper. I didn't shoot for a target, I just did my best and exceeded all expectations.

(There's a business lesson here that's proven out through experimentation. If a sales team hits their target early in a time period, say that month, they tend to slack off an under-perform a sales team that didn't have a target and kept pushing to do their best.)

Note: I'm not in sales now, professionally, but my job does require a lot of meetings, persuasion and convincing within my organization. I'd say even though it wasn't a strict leadership club, being part of the newspaper prepared me to be a leader.

Do universities even have a newspaper any more? :-)

Hi Aiden I have provided some insight below on next steps for you! Lindsey Farrell

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Robin’s Answer

Hi, Aiden - sounds like you have some good experience already and it is great that you are exploring more ideas. I was in a club for business majors who were focused on management and leadership. I played a program director role for awhile, which meant I helped to set the calendar of speakers and also reached out to coordinate details with those speakers. Our speakers were leaders in the business community, so this role was a good way to practice networking. I also had to have good pitch to up the chances of them agreeing to speak to our group. These skills have served me well throughout my career. I also got to hear first-hand insights from leaders at all levels. I picked up many tips for when it became my turn to lead. Best of luck! Robin

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David’s Answer

When I was receiving my undergraduate degree I joined the ROTC Program for the Army. Even though I ended up contracting and going into the Army after college many people don't. You can actually participate in ROTC for two years before having to contract. There are some great skills that you learn in ROTC that you don't learn in the college classroom. Critical Thinking, Leadership skills, Time management, physical and mental health. It can be an excellent program, and many don't know they can test it out without ever signing something to join the military.