Students enrolling in a top engineering college should also consider opportunities outside the classroom. We suggest joining at least one organization within each category below to ensure an engaging campus life that aligns with your personal, academic and professional goals.
Approach student organizations as you did when you were in high school: Start out exploring what intrigues you based on your passions and then join those that fit you best.
- Student government/Student council: Student government is a great way to network and meet administration and faculty that you may not otherwise have access to. It provides opportunities to develop your leadership and teamwork skills, both of which are important in your professional life.
- Community service: There are plenty of opportunities to help fellow students, the local community or even the world through on-campus community service clubs. These can vary from local chapters of national organizations, like Habitat for Humanity or Big Brothers Big Sisters, to volunteering in local shelters. You can also be a campus tutor or help organize the next Earth Day event.
- Professional organizations: Organizations within your major are a great way to meet other students who are passionate about the same subjects you are. There are even chapters of professional associations just for STEM students. These organizations are great forums to discuss classes, topics related to the industry, advancements in the field, applied research, socialize with professors or find internships.
The most common collegiate social system is Greek Life – sororities for women or fraternities for men. These clubs are typically part of national chapters and have formal application processes in order to join. Many have houses on or near campus where members live, study and socialize. Some schools don’t have a Greek Life scene but may have their own clubs for academics, hobbies, gaming, food or other interests. Get to know the social scene at your school early and explore the different options to see what is the right fit for you.
Planning ahead is what helped you get accepted to a top engineering college but the journey doesn’t end there. College is about education and a means to getting a great job after graduation. Use the lens of post-graduation/career as a filter and find a club or organization that will help you get there.
- Pre-professional society: Connect with others in your major. You already have shared goals and an eye on the post-graduation prize: Employment. Use these professional societies to network and learn. Use the careers glossary to research jobs that might interest you.
- On-campus jobs: Seek jobs on campus jobs rather than off campus when possible. The benefit of this strategy is very practical. Campus jobs will be easier to get to, and chances are they will introduce you to a network of peers and professionals. Also, the campus job is likely to be more sympathetic to the unique scheduling and time needs of a college student.
- Internships: Ask your alumni office about programs to shadow or intern with alumni in a job or company that you’re interested in. Attend campus recruiting fairs, talk to professors and network to help score an internship during the semester or over the summer.
Staying active and fit is an important part of your physical and mental health. There are many different types of physical fitness opportunities available on campus: individual or team-based, intramural or intercollegiate, competitive or recreational. Explore what’s offered and see what’s right for you. Athletics can also help students remain well-rounded and stand out in comparison to their peers.
-Intercollegiate team sports: If you loved sports in high school, consider taking it up a notch and trying out for a college sports team. Chances are the talent level will be higher but you’ll stay active, be challenged and meet new friends. The lessons learned through teamwork and competition are certain to help you off the field, too.
-Intramural sports: Intramural sports teams are a great way to stay fit and meet people while trying out a new sport or continuing an old favorite.
– Fitness and Dance: Many colleges offer dance or fitness classes such as yoga, a great way to stay active, meet people and channel your creative physical energy.
Whether you become head of the robotics club, student council president or captain of the tennis team, we encourage you to take full advantage of the campus life your college offers. Attend open houses, create a LinkedIn profile and join the school’s Facebook page to gather information on what options are available as soon as you can. Involving yourself in campus life at college will set you up for success and on the path to a great job after graduation.