In 2016, I transferred as a Junior to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. During the universities activity fair I walked around not knowing anyone but was interested in possibly joining an organization to meet people, gain a resume builder, and to get experience in a related field to my major which is finance. Regardless of your college major, experience in business will go a long way when it’s time to pursue a career after graduation.
Having experience from going through real business situations is much more valuable then reading about it in a book. Through a business organization you often will hear first hand experiences from entrepreneur speakers, go on-site to businesses to see their operations, and possibly set up and run your own business. In the Bradley chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneur’s Organization (CEO), we take a yearly trip to the national CEO conference where successful entrepreneurs both young and old hold sessions, give speeches and answer direct questions. Also at the conference there are a series of competitions where you can further your experience and knowledge in specific areas of business.
Joining a business organization is a fantastic way to gain contacts in the business world. Contacts lead to references, friends on the contacts who might be able to help you, and sometimes directly to a job. Out of my 5 lifetime jobs, I have gotten four of them from contacts, and had to work very hard to acquire the fifth on my own. You can meet contacts in business organization through involved faculty, guest speakers, other members, and people you meet through group activities.
Meeting friends in college is not always easy if you are not in a fraternity/sorority, and are going to a school away from your high school friends in an unfamiliar town. Joining a business organization will not only give you something to do, but will give you an opportunity to meet new people and make lots of friends who share the same business related interests as you do. I have made several friends through the organization I am in at Bradley University. Friends can also be used as contacts, but are even more valuable.
Employers look for related experience, past jobs, education, community service, clubs/organizations you have been a part of, and leadership experience among other things. Being part of a college business organization looks great on a resume and can put you ahead of many other potential candidates. After you have had a year or two of experience in a business organization, it’s time to become an officer to further your leadership skills and for a more impressive resume builder. At a career fair I went up to a representative from Caterpillar. The woman instantly dismissed my resume because she said “there are no leadership skills listed”. I had previously been unaware that companies focused so much on entry level skills such as leadership, but they do.
These are only a few of the many benefits you can receive from joining a university business organization. They can be a very fun and rewarding experience that will help you in many ways. So don’t be shy or nervous to try new things, join a college/university business organization.