When dozens of qualified people apply for the same job, how does an employer choose? “I look for tie breakers,” a representative of a major corporation said. “I look for people with demonstrated leadership, communication skills and job experience.”
That’s a familiar concept to students in the NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources. Students here are taught that there are four things they can do to foster their own success at the university: 1) go to class and study, 2) get to know faculty and staff outside of the classroom, 3) join some clubs in order to learn teamwork, leadership and to build your network of friends, and 4) have fun. Student organizations obviously contribute to the third item but also provide great opportunities that contribute to the second and fourth items.
Of course there’s much more to be gained from involvement in student organizations than an entry on your résumé. Student groups are a great way to meet people with similar interests and to have a good time. You can get to know upperclassmen who can provide good information about courses, instructors and campus life. You can interact with faculty and staff outside of the classroom, and they can become references in your job applications and will, in many cases, become your lifelong friends. You can meet professionals who work in your field, take field trips and travel to regional and national meetings and competitions, and gain confidence through improved organizational, leadership and communication skills.
NDSU has many additional organizations, committees and activities, and many College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources students are active in them as well. One good way to learn about them is to attend the Student Involvement Expo at the beginning of each semester. The expo is sponsored by the Congress of Student Organizations (CSO) and is held either on the east patio of the Memorial Union or in the Oċet̄i Ṡak̄owiŋ Ballroom.