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:
Annika Larson (B.A. 2017): “I discovered AWC by accident; my FIG leader from freshman year used to be president of the AWC. She convinced me to attend the first meeting and the rest is history. I love the supportive and encouraging club members, as well as how AWC prioritizes creating networking opportunities for women in the COM department. AWC taught me many skills; I learned the importance of writing a thank you card after every interview, the best tips for creating a LinkedIn profile, and professional networking. Through AWC I experienced that first big push to really start thinking about what I wanted to do in a future career.”
Kia Vang (B.A. 2017): “My time as PRSSA President has been extremely rewarding and honorable. Our biggest goal is to maintain relationships between people within the chapter; we really try to encourage people to make new friends at meetings. This way, you have a built-in support system and can make an effort to hold each other accountable for participating within the group. Serving as President has also helped me grow my own skills as an event planner and PR professional. I have a great team that helps me stay organized and keep the club sustainable. Finally, it is so rewarding to know that I have now become a resource for other people. I love being able to answer student questions about PR and make connections between industry mentors and our members.”
Kelsey Hamlin (B.A. 2017): “We are always looking to increase the diversity of our membership; we want to be representative of our students and their values. We do a good job promoting ourselves as a resource for other communicators; they should consider us a hotline for questions on reporting, media ethics, and really anything else. We also want to make sure our students are getting involved with community outlets as soon as possible. I think the main advantage students in SPJ UW have is access to all of these ‘lessons learned’ from their peers. In the end, we are likely writing the same types of stories, so we should be resources for each other, even while remaining competitive.”
The Rhetoric Club promotes undergraduate research and critical practices within the tradition of rhetorical theory. Members of the club are students who are interested in pursuing community engagement ambassadorships between rhetoric and other disciplines on campus, and working through personal research projects. Language is powerful; thoughtful language, even more so. The club members will work together to think about, practice, and create methods for, effective and responsible communication. Be it on campus, or off, students who participate in the club get valuable experience thinking academically and engaging practically to put their knowledge and skills to use.
Victoria Braun (B.A. 2017): “When I came back to the UW I decided that I really wanted to do something new and turn my experiences at the UW into a positive one. I had never seen myself as a debater, but I wanted to try something new. I did not know what I was getting myself into, but I found out I really love debate. I guess I like a good challenge. Debate has been rewarding because I have done something that I feel many people will never do. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone and taught me so much. It helped with many of my classes too, including international studies, because we had been discussing many of those topics all year during debate.”
Mohammed Kloub (B.A. 2017): “I entered my sophomore year feeling pretty lost. One of my close friends suggested I take a small step and do something I like; I applied to be a writer at The Daily. After completing the hiring class, I intended to be an opinion writer, but the newly hired News Editor, Eleanor Cummins, encouraged me to become a reporter. I became the Diversity beat reporter and I fell in love with journalism and storytelling. I applied that spring for the journalism major and the rest is history. I love journalism because of the opportunity it gives me to hear people’s stories and tell them to the world; there’s so many great stories right here at UW. I encourage all students, journalists or not, to speak with as many students and faculty and staff as possible in their time here.”
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.