The Academic Benefits of Student Organizations

One of my favorite things about being a student at OU is the nearly endless possibilities students have to get involved. As an over-achieving freshman I signed up for countless organization’s email lists and joined too many clubs to name. Though I definitely didn’t stick to everything I signed up for, I found three organizations I love being a part of. In addition to loving the organizations I’m in, each one has taught me invaluable lessons about different aspects of strategic communication.

1. Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity

APhiO was the first organization I joined in college and has been a wonderful experience for me. As the current Vice President of Service and previous Service Week Co-Chair, I learned a lot that helps me in my strategic communication career path. One part of PR and strategic communication that I absolutely love is event planning. My executive positions in APhiO have let me get tons of experience in planning small to large-scale events and coordinating large groups of volunteers. Additionally, getting the opportunity to work with so many amazing non-profits has helped me realize that Community Relations or doing PR work for a non-profit organization is career path that would fit me really well.

2. BobcaThon Dance Marathon

As the Director of Communication for a relatively new student organization, BobcaThon, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about strategic communication. One of my main responsibilities in BobcaThon is maintaining our social media channels and raising awareness on campus about BobcaThon. Since this is only our second year on campus, we have had the chance to really develop BobcaThon’s brand and show the student body what BobcaThon stands for. I was also able to work with our Director of Multimedia to develop design guidelines and templates for our promotional materials that BobcaThon was able to use and adapt for years to come.

3. OU ImPRessions

Being in ImPRessions the last year and a half working on the Black Sheep Improv account currently and the College Book Store account last year has helped show me the huge berth that strategic communication can have. With ImPRessions, I’ve gotten to experience all different kinds of PR, from conducting primary research to developing complete PR campaigns. Additionally, the workshops that my AE and AAE have led have helped to develop our skills in other areas of PR that we might not be as comfortable with.

While ImPRessions is the only organization in my major that I’m a part of, my non-major organizations have played a huge part in developing my strategic communication skills and helping me to figure out the right career path for me.