4 ways to make the most of societies
During your time at university you’ll quickly learn one fact – there is seemingly a society for everything! From the accounting society to the “Sports Society”, there is a plethora of activities you can get involved in. Joining a society helps to provide a balance to your schedule, giving you something to focus on other than your studies. You’ll have events to look forward to, which will also help you to relax and in turn help your academic work. However, societies aren’t just there to act as a counterweight to academia, they can provide several ways to boost your CV and network. So read on and find out how to make the most of societies at university.
#1 Get involved in something completely new
What’s wonderful about university is the opportunities available to push yourself, which should be no more evident than when looking at the range of societies on offer. In very few other environments will you have the chance to join a group completely unrelated to your normal interests (personal and academic) and meet other people. By branching out into something brand new you may discover skills and interests you didn’t know you had – inevitably opening up more career paths! This is never a bad thing, so make the most of the environment around you and seriously consider joining up to something completely new. After all, if it doesn’t turn out to be very useful you can always quit and try something else!
Yes, it’s an annoying buzzword but societies really can help with this. By joining a society you’ll be surrounding yourself with a range of people from several different backgrounds – some of whom you may want to keep in touch with! This applies to all societies, not just those explicitly focused on an academic discipline (e.g. Geography society) or a career-based one, but also sports and art societies. So make sure to find out all you can about those in your society – you never know when it might come in handy!
#3 Get stuck in
Even if you aren’t a committee member, or even a member of a specific society, it never hurts to volunteer. Many societies have events throughout the year which you can get involved in, enabling you to gain new skills, experience and meet like-minded people. This is particularly true for charity-related societies, which will often have events which require help. These events can range from a simple bucket collection to a full blown beer festival in your students’ union. For the latter type of event, volunteering will usually get you a free pass to the event! Even better is that often your volunteering hours will be recorded by the university, meaning you’ll have hard proof of your new experience.
It doesn’t always have to be down to the society to come up with the event ideas. If you’ve got an idea for what a society should do, e.g. for a fundraiser, why not approach them? If they like the idea, they’ll likely put you in charge of it – resulting in an opportunity to show yourself off as an expert event organiser. If it all goes well, you could find it acts as a very useful stepping stone to other positions.
#4 Committee Position
If you found volunteering at a society or suggesting/ running an event to be an enjoyable experience, then it may be worth considering not only joining the society, but to become a member of their committee. Every society will have a committee, a group of students who manage the actions of the society and their events. Joining this committee will, depending on the role, allow you to gain experience in a wide range of skills.
The exact layout of the committee will vary between societies, so there could be a wide range of roles, or quite a narrow one. Usually a society will have a chair, vice-chair/secretary and a treasurer which will be the roles with the most responsibility attached all year around. If you’re looking for something which you only have to worry about for part of the year, you may want to look into being responsible for running an event. Being in charge of a specific event will enable you to improve in time management and organisation. Depending on the size of the event, you may even be in charge of a team of volunteers, which will definitely give your leadership skills a boost.
No matter which position you take up, the most important thing is you’ll have hard evidence that you can put on your CV and use in interviews. This will undoubtedly allow you to stand out during the recruitment process.
There we have it, a few ways to use societies to your advantage and to improve your CV at the same time. Be sure to remember that societies aren’t just there to improve your CV, they’re there to bring people together and help them have a good time!
Written by JobTeaser