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10 Reasons You Should Join a Professional Student Organization in Graduate School

Ana-Marcela Lopez / Abound: Grad School »

As a graduate student, you likely have a lot on your plate. Between work, family and, well, life, the notion of joining an organization might sound like the last thing you can or want to do. However, if you can spare a few hours each month, then joining a professional student organization is a great option.  

What Types of Graduate Student Organizations are Available?

What are the Benefits? 

1. Deeper understanding of yourself 

With every new experience and challenge, you discover more about yourself. You’ll learn more about your goals, your strengths, and your weaknesses. You might even discover a new hobby that you’ll enjoy beyond your time on campus.

2. New soft skills 

Whether you hold a leadership position in an organization or you’re just there for the free snacks, you’ll develop essential soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem solving. Interpersonal communication helps you broaden and improve your people skills, which are essential to being a strong leader and team player.

3. Teamwork skills 

The experiences you’ll have in a professional student organization will allow you to learn from others and apply the knowledge gained. You’ll have to work with your fellow club members on a variety of tasks. If you’ve never planned an event or organized a fundraiser, a club is a great place to get that experience.

4. Networking opportunities 

You never know who you’ll meet in a student organization. You’ll have the opportunity to make connections and build relationships when you begin looking for a job.

5. Practical experience opportunities.

Clubs of interest or clubs of study often give you the opportunity to get practical experience within the field of your choice. These opportunities will demonstrate to future employers that you have real-world experience.

6. Initiative 

Joining and active participation in a club demonstrates motivation and initiative—a key skill to employers. It also demonstrates that you can multitask, which is an essential ability in most fast-paced work environments.

7. Diversity 

In an ever-changing world, this couldn’t be more important. 

8. Résumé building 

You’ll get the opportunity to put something of value on your résumé, particularly if you’re in a leadership position.

9. Civic engagement 

Many organizations have a service component built into the mission. Clubs stand to service someone or one another, and as much, you’ll get some feeling of gratitude.

10.  It’s fun! 

Most importantly, clubs give you an opportunity to meet new friends and participating in clubs will help you get the most out of grad school.

Here are five Abound schools that feature robust student organizations:

Adelphi University: The Graduate Student Council (GSC) is responsible for representing and uniting the members of the graduate student body to protect, promote, and provide student input to the Administration, staff, faculty, and the Board of Trustees on matters of past and future University policies. Joining Adelphi’s GSC is a great way to advocate for yourself and fellow students, while gaining valuable experience.

Catawba College: Student North Carolina Association of Educators (SNCAE)

Student North Carolina Association of Educators (SNCAE) is a prospective teachers club that promotes the professional and social advancement and refinement of the profession. Membership is open to education majors, minors or others interested in the advancement of education in our society. Activities include: monthly meetings, a pinning ceremony, service projects, a professional development ceremony and an end of year celebration.

Mercer University: The Mercer chapter of the American Society for Clinical Pathology ASCP student chapter meets every other week and hosts guest speakers from the consultant and geriatric pharmacy industries, informs the chapter about geriatric healthcare updates and participates in student on campus activities. The chapter also participates in community service projects, regional Georgia ASCP chapter meetings and national annual meetings. The chapter maintains close ties with the Georgia ASCP Chapter, which provides students with a variety of networking and educational opportunities. All Mercer University College of Pharmacy students, residents, fellows and graduate students are welcome to join.

Indiana University: The Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG), which serves more than 8,000 students, can help connect you to the graduate student community at IU. The organization collaborates regularly with University Graduate School faculty to improve the quality of grad life at IU Bloomington, so you’ll directly benefit from the work you put in. GPSG also provides resources and academic support to graduate students, cultivates a graduate student community, and advocates for the best interests of graduate students.

Seattle University: SU offers graduate students several opportunities to connect to their peers and the community at the graduate level. Notable graduate student organizations include: 

  • Albers Graduate Student Association: Albers Graduate Student Association (AGSA) is a student-run organization committed to enriching the education experience of graduate business students in the Albers School of Business.
  • Women in Business: Women in Business is a brave space for students to help each other advance in and navigate the world of business. Students get valuable career, leadership, and networking opportunities. Women in Business cultivates relationships with the sharpest female business leaders to host events, discuss relevant topics, and create a unique networking space for students, alumni, and professionals.
  • Graduate Student Council: The mission of the Graduate Student Council is to improve the graduate student experience at Seattle University by communicating the needs and ideas of the graduate student body to the University. 
  • Albers Student Clubs: Graduate Students are welcome to join the other student clubs at Albers and on campus. For more information, visit our Student Clubs page.

Joining a student organization in graduate school is an easy way to expand your network, increase your skills, and have fun. Between classes, work, and life’s other obligations, it seems as if there’s so little time to do anything else. But if you have the time to spare, consider joining a student organization. Regardless of where you are in your graduate school journey, Abound: Grad School is here to help. We get you in touch with schools that we can confirm are Accessible, Affordable, Accelerated, and Advanced. Take a look at the schools we trust and find the program that works for you.

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