You’ve probably heard the Career Center’s 3+2+2 rule for getting a job offer: 3.0 GPA, 2 internships, and 2 leadership experiences. So you’ve joined a couple of clubs where you can find those all-important leadership opportunities.
Yesterday I attended the Supply Chain Forum, an event put on each year by the Supply Chain Management Association Sure, there were students taking on leadership roles, but the event highlighted ten more reasons to join the student organization associated with your future career:
1. Networking opportunities. With more than 100 people in the room, including senior supply chain professionals, this was a lot more than a recruiting fair. Student organization events include people who actually hold the positions you’ll eventually have.
2. Professional community. This club functions as a student chapter of the Cedar Valley APICS, which helped sponsor the event. Most student organizations are affiliated with the same organization joined by the professionals in the field.
3. Catch up with old friends. Several alumni of the Supply Chain major attended. Student clubs offer plenty of excuses for those who’ve already graduated to come back. Renew friendships and find out how things are going with those who graduate ahead of you.
4. International trips. One alum said he’d been hired because he had taken a SCMA trip to China. Every club sponsors trips, sometimes even study abroad opportunities.
5. Competitions. Three teams of students reported on their experiences at case competitions in Denver or Detroit. Employers are more likely to believe you have the skills when you’ve got a trophy to prove it.
6. Alumni mentors. Between the alumni panel and folks who just came for lunch, there were a lot of Panthers in the room. Sure, you get a lot of advice from alumni coming back to campus, but the best role models are those who actually got jobs in your major.
7. Real career knowledge. The panel on supply chain risk mitigation was fascinating. Our professors teach a lot of good stuff, but there’s nothing like the club events where people tell you about the nuts and bolts of actually doing the job.
8. Jobs! Professionals from at least a dozen companies attended the forum, and these companies regularly contact SCMA when they have job openings in supply chain. Yes the career fair is important, but the club in your major is even more important.
9. Friendships. You’ll make a lot of great friends while you’re in college, but the clubs are the place for making great friends who share your interests, values, and goals.
10. Great food! Thanks to John Deere, Rockwell Collins, Bossard, Ruan, C.H. Robinson, Warren Transport, TM Logistics, and Pella, we all enjoyed a great lunch. Join a club and you’ll never go hungry!