Clubs give students the opportunity to network in a specific industry, gain experience outside of the classroom, develop leadership skills, and meet professionals who are committed to helping young people start their careers. Here are some that are housed within the Department of Communication:
Ishwarya Rajendran (Senior, Communication & International Studies): “The best thing about joining AWC has been all the great connections I’ve made with fellow student and women in the professional field. I have gained valuable leadership and teamwork skills.
“I joined the professional chapter to help connect other students like myself to the professional world and the opportunities that are available to them. So far it has been a great pleasure to work with women who have been influential in shaping my undergraduate career and my skills as a young professional.
”I think it’s so important for students to join a student club because it really shows how anyone can get involved and find their passion or interest within a large university. AWC has helped me find my passion in this field in many ways.”
Ali Wulf (B.A., 2015): “You don’t realize until you start looking for an internship or start your career, that it’s really all about people you know in the industry. Joining a club enables you to spark those connections and maintain them throughout your collegiate years. UW PRSSA was an outlet for members to meet professionals just by simply attending meetings.
“I was on the Executive Committee for two years and found it extremely beneficial and rewarding, because you gain leadership skills by working with advisors and professionals. Some of the strongest connections I have with mentors started at PRSSA meetings. Looking back at my collegiate years, the amount of professionals and networking events you are exposed to, are two of the biggest reasons why I am so thankful I joined a student club. I plan to join the professional chapter in the near future.”
Ashley Stewart (B.A., 2015): “I worked with the professional board often as part of the student chapter, so it was a natural transition, but it’s certainly not a prerequisite. I will say, SPJ is especially valuable as a college student because so much of being successful in journalism happens outside of the classroom. That’s what SPJ connects you with and I think it’s worth it to get involved as early as you can.
“I joined the professional board because SPJ did so much for me while I was in college and I wanted to make that happen for other students and journalists.”
Zach Maghirang (Junior, Communication major with minor in English): “The team atmosphere is extremely supportive and friendly and the relationships made with students around the country are great, yet the best part about participating on the policy debate team at UW is the educational value. Applying the things I’ve learned in debate to the classroom or vice versa has been extremely useful in advancing my education and eye-opening to some of the broader societal issues in the status quo.”
“I plan to become a high school teacher and debate coach, which means that my experiences on the debate team are uniquely valuable. The critical thinking skills, confidence in public speaking, and research efficiency derived from debate are all elements that will make me a more effective teacher.”
Involvement in clubs doesn’t have to stop once you graduate – most groups have professional organizations (many with local chapters) to help with the transition to the working world.