I have worked at Clarkson for 3 years as the Director of Student Life, and I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to see a few classes of students join campus. One thing that has remained constant over those years is that, when asked about the best part of their Clarkson experience, almost all students tell me the same thing: their on-campus involvement outside of the classroom!
Joining a student organization, playing a club or an intramural sport, or working a campus job can be fun and provide memorable experiences for students. Students love to share their experiences outside of the classroom with others because they learn just as much outside of the classroom as they do inside of the classroom.
Embrace being a member of the Clarkson Family
Joining an organization or other groups on campus gives you the opportunity to meet new people, gain insight from the experiences of others, and channel your Clarkson spirit through involvement. Clarkson students are incredibly driven and having an outlet to engage with as part of the Clarkson community is an important part of campus life.
For example, I have seen the students in Pep Band develop strong friendships and networks through their club involvement, regardless of major or class year. Pep Band plays music and leads the chants at all of the home Division I Hockey games and brings on the Clarkson spirit. Spending all of that time together and working toward a shared goal brings members closer together and creates strong bonds that last beyond graduation. Every year during COGO and our major rival games, alumni will return to join Pep Band and cheer on the Golden Knights with a resounding, “Let’s Go Tech!”
Students who find an affinity group feel better connected to campus and learn things from each other in a natural and fulfilling way. Having a genuine connection with other people through shared interests is a great way to expand your network and have new experiences.
Get better grades.
Students who are involved on campus tend to have better grades and are more likely to graduate. Evidence of this can be found on Clarkson’s campus, as well as through national studies showing that campus involvement translates into better grades and community support.
Getting involved causes you to be more organized so that you can manage your time well and get to do everything you want to do in a week. Honing in your time management and prioritization skills in college will help you when you graduate.
Joining a group builds your network; you have access to more people (such as faculty, staff, alumni and other students) who can help you succeed. You may get to know a faculty member better and establish a relationship that could lead to research opportunities, a TA job, or industry connections. Being part of a group that has the same interests is also a great way to decompress, which can help you better focus on academics when you need to switch gears.
Gain transferable skills and professional experience.
Joining a student organization, working on campus and getting involved in other ways will help build leadership skills and give you real-world experience to prepare you for the workforce. You can learn various skills, such as managing a budget, delegating tasks, recruiting members or creating, promoting and evaluating an event. When you are applying for jobs, your GPA only takes up one line of your resume; your experience fills the rest of the page. Campus involvement and activities are all great resume builders, and, if you maximize your involvement, you will be able to talk at length about your experience during an interview!
I typically have 12-15 student employees working for OSL (the Office of Student Life), and they often tell me that during interviews for a co-op, internship, or job, they spend most of the time talking about the skills they have learned and experiences they have had while working in our office. Students who have worked in my office have shared that they felt working with us has prepared them for the workforce more than some of their other professional experiences due to the holistic approach we take with our student employees.
As professional staff for the university, we work here because we love working with and learning from Clarkson students. We often serve as references to our student employees and club leaders and are happy to provide feedback to help students grow within their leadership roles. Our goal is to provide opportunities for our students to succeed and being a part of their success story is a fulfilling part of our jobs.
Make lifelong memories.
Getting involved on campus helps you to practice wellness, have fun and maybe try something new. The best memories you will have from your time at Clarkson will probably not be sitting in class. Your favorite memories will most likely be of the times that you applied that learning to something you find interesting, such as building a concrete canoe with your SPEED team, setting up all the lighting rigs, speakers, and stage for a campus concert with CUB or attending a conference with your fraternity or sorority. Students with jobs on campus love the individualized interactions they have with their supervisors and are able to translate those experiences into skills that are used beyond their time at Clarkson.
Have fun, make memories, and pursue old and new interests during your time at Clarkson by joining clubs, organizations, activities outside of your comfort zone, on-campus employment, and through engagement with your campus resources. We want to see you reimagine your future and your interests during your time at Clarkson. Make the most of it and get involved!
To get involved on campus, you can:
Check out OSL’s Student Organization Spotlights on Instagram @clarksonu.osl.
Find out about intramurals at clarkson.edu/club-intramural-sports
Look for a campus job on Handshake at clarkson.joinhandshake.com.
Check Knight Life to join a student organization or attend a campus event knightlife.clarkson.edu
Be sure to attend the Activities Fair every fall semester to connect with different clubs, organizations, and professional associations.