• 11 Tips to Make Any College Club Great

    by Alexa Kosloski

    A laptop screen with a Zoom call open, showing a meeting with 22 participants.

    Throughout my undergrad career, I have served on executive boards for 3 different clubs and served Chapter President for one. Having this experience has allowed me to understand what it takes to truly have a successful college club. Although every organization is different, the steps it takes to be successful are similar. Below are 11 tips that can help take any college club from good to great.

    1) Brainstorm ideas ahead of time

    If you have the opportunity to do so, brainstorm ideas for your club before the semester starts. This can be a huge time saver and stress relief. To accomplish this, have your executive board meet on Zoom during the summer or during winter break prior to the semester start. By brainstorming your ideas ahead of time, you will have an idea of what exactly your club offers so that you can encourage others to join. This also will save you time in the future, so you can just be at your club events instead of stressing about what your next meeting will contain. Members can tell if a club planned something ahead of time or was put together last minute.

    2) Pay attention to your members

    While you may have a million different ideas for your club, your members may not be a fan of all of them. Try to vary your events early on so that you can gauge what activities your members enjoy most and use that feedback to shape what your club offers. Make sure to include members as much as possible, especially if you’re a virtual club. It will be more engaging and will give them more to talk about when other students and employers ask them what they do in the club.

    3) Don’t underestimate word of mouth marketing

    Besides just posting flyers about your events, the executive board members need to share your events with their friends and classmates. You can also see if your professors will share your flyers or let you talk about your bigger events during classes that are of relevant subject matter to your club. A student may be more likely to attend your event if they hear about it from a friend, rather than just seeing it posted on the bulletin board.

    4) Get inspiration from others

    Pay attention to the actions and activities of other clubs on your campus and clubs from other colleges that provide a similar experience. Strive to stay up to date with trends in the specific industry that your club revolves around, or even current events. Inspiration can come from anywhere!

    5) Change it up

    Regardless of what your club is, a little change can be very refreshing. That’s not to say that you have to drastically change the activities that you offer, although you certainly could if you want to. But perhaps there’s a way to improve how you carry out your original activities. For instance, maybe your club has fundraisers at the same restaurant every year. Consider holding the event at another restaurant. A simple change of location can breathe new life into an annual event.

    6) Make it more than a resume builder

    The number one thing that makes a great college club is the executive board. No matter what the reputation of your club is, the executive board has the ability to hold or change that. Be willing to put in the work, not just list the position on your resume. The best clubs put their members first and know that their work will help keep the club running for years after their terms have ended.

    7) Stay organized

    There are so many dates, times, and documents to keep track of when you’re on an executive board. Keep it all in one place that every member can access. This will reduce confusion and you’ll all be able to find everything when you need it. I highly recommend using Google Calendar and Google Drive for all of your club’s organization needs.

    8) Do your checks and balances ahead of time

    While normal member meetings may not require this, running a large event has a lot of moving pieces. Make sure that you talk to the necessary parties WAY in advance. Each piece takes time and the more time that you give yourself, the better your results will be.

    9) Don’t burn yourself out

    While it’s great to have tons of ideas, a club’s members have midterms, finals, and holidays to attend to. Keep these dates in mind to avoid having events during these times, if possible. Your members will appreciate having that time to themselves. In addition to this, gauge how everyone on the executive board is feeling. Do they seem burnt out? If the answer is yes, try to build in a week with no events or meetings to give everyone break. This can really re-energize the board.

    10) Help each other

    While everyone on an executive board has their own tasks to accomplish, some tasks involve more work than others. If you have the chance to help someone, help them. This will create a better bond between you and the other executive board member, and the task will be less stressful and more successful.

    11) Plan for transitions

    There’s a lot of knowledge gained from being on an executive board. You learn what works and what doesn’t work, what struggles and opportunities the club has, important club requirements, and much more. If your club’s former executive board has to learn all of this on their own, they are bound to miss out on potential opportunities and repeat past mistakes. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, have each former executive board member train the incoming board member for their position. This will be immensely helpful and result in greater success for the club.

    While this may seem like a lot to remember, the basic idea comes down to putting your people first. That includes both other executive board members, as well as your general club members. If you continuously work to put them first, everything else will fall into place.

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  • Why college students should pursue a minor

    by Alexa Kosloski

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    College is an amazing place for students to learn, grow, and find out what they want to do for the rest of their lives. It offers a wide variety of learning opportunities and experiences that students may not be able to get elsewhere. However, because there is so much opportunity at college, there is a lot of opportunity cost that come into play. Do I choose to play on the basketball team or join the robotics club? Do I go ice skating with my friends or study for that hard physics exam tomorrow? Both offer their own unique benefits and downsides, but you only have time for so much between classes, social life, and extracurricular activities.  For this reason, some students may think twice about taking on a minor, but I encourage everyone that has the ability to add a minor to do so. Here’s why:

    Exposure to new people

    By adding a new field of study, you will no longer walk into a room and recognize everyone in your classes, but that’s OK! You will meet new students that will challenge your mind with new levels of conversation and thinking. Beyond just new professors, the people you meet may just be the connection that you need to land your dream internship/job one day. 

    Change in thinking

    As you are exposed to the new field of study, you will learn about new concepts and history. This may help you approach situations differently or have a better understanding of something in your major. Maybe you’re a Criminal Justice major that has a minor in Psychology and now you understand mens rea better than you did before. You never know when you will need that knowledge in the future.

    Develop new skills

    By adding a minor, you are accepting an increase in coursework along with what’s required for your major. For some students, the thought of adding to their workload may be stressful, but think of how great your multitasking and time management skills will become. Also, by adding a minor, you are able to hone in on a new field of study instead of just taking some extra random and unrelated classes to finish out your degree.

    Added excitement

    Adding a minor can be genuinely exciting. It’s almost as if you’re a freshman again in the sense that you are meeting and connecting with new people, and you are expanding upon your previous knowledge. And while the classes for a minor may not be as stressful, they’ll break up the routine that many students get stuck in.

    Overall, I encourage everyone to push themselves outside of their comfort zone and add a minor. Recently, I added a graphic design minor and in doing so I have learned how much I genuinely enjoy the study of graphic design. I also find I am more creative in my marketing courses. Just make sure to go into the minor optimistic, eager, and open-minded to the experience. It may just end up being one of the best decisions that you ever made.


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