This blog is written by Ariam, our campus ambassador from Stony Brook University.
You may think all the answers are in the bottom shelf of your Professor’s drawer or at the Career Center on-campus, but you’ll be surprised at how much you learn by joining a recognized state/national organization.
This word has morphed into a monster over the last year or so. It’s so important to meet professionals in your designated area of interest. You not only get an inside look of the day in the life of a (journalist, entrepreneur, accountant, publicist, etc.) but you meet people who are in the same boat as you.
Personal and Career Benefits
Being a member of an organization allows you to reap the benefits of getting discounted rates at events like Career Conferences, Webinars, Panel discussions, at the spa, etc! For example, New York Women in Communications allows members to benefit from its pool of professional through a free coaching session with a coach of your choice. The list of coaches is on the NYWICI website, and through reading their bios and/or doing your own independent research you can contact the professional whom you’d like to meet with. How exciting is that?
Usually notable organizations like NYWICI, Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Black Accountants, etc hold annually career conferences where a lot of professionals come and meet with members. Some may be distinguished professionals selected by the organization or started out as member of the org themselves. This is a great way to come in contact with your future role models who can be inspiration to you while you are still in college. Put your networking and great interview skills to the test, and possibly go home with a wealthier list of LinkedIn connections.
Lauren is a mentor to us all. She has helped us get our voice out through her website, Intern Queen, as well as put valuable internship coordinators and companies at our reach! Imagine having your own personal mentor? The ideal mentor is someone who is in the position of authority (ONLY BECAUSE H/SHE HAS MORE EXPERIENCE THAN YOU), but at the same time does not have a PERSONAL AGENDA. Family, friends, even advisors all have their own agendas and want what is best for us. However, a mentor does not. Their job is to “lightly guide” you in the right direction and hopefully a match made in heaven would be finding a mentor who can do all of these things while still pushing you to be the brightest student/ young professional you can be.
Are you interested in joining an organization, but not sure where to look?
Here’s some links that will help you get started: