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My Advice: Pick Your Student Clubs Like You Pick Your Netflix Shows


By Elanor Gross, BBA ‘19

Once I was accepted into Michigan Ross, I was looking to take advantage of all of the resources Ross provides to help me expand my network, meet new people, and push myself to grow.

Joining clubs and being involved in student life is one of the best ways to do this, and the options for club involvement at Ross are incredible (and can be a little overwhelming). Choosing which clubs to join can be a daunting task!

My advice: picking clubs to join in the beginning years of college should be like picking a new TV show to watch — lead with your heart first and head second. Join clubs that you are most passionate about as opposed to ones you think will look good on your resume (or ones that your friend asked you to join with them).

When you’re browsing through Netflix, you know not to pick American Horror Story if you scare easily. Even though most of your friends watch it, it won’t be what you truly want. In the end, you’re just going to enjoy New Girl so much more.

This advice helped me find and become an executive board member of Michigan Business Women, and it's honestly the best club I could have even chosen to join.

MBW was an instant connection to hundreds of Ross women. Within the first month of joining I had met so many students in my graduating class, and it was great to see those friendly faces around the building. Soon we were forming study groups or simply hanging out together when we needed to relax.

Attending MBW events also gave me the opportunity to meet upperclassmen whose footsteps I would be following in someday. They were always willing to grab coffee or help me with my resume, and their guidance during my first year at Ross was invaluable. Joining MBW expanded and strengthened the support network I would continue to use over the next three years and hopefully beyond, well after I graduate in 2019.

Important Friends Lead To Important Lessons

With all of these new, awesome people in my life, I had to make some adjustments. Joining such a large organization and eventually being a member of its executive board really taught me the importance of clear and frequent communication.

Having all members of such a large organization on the same page is really crucial. You need the executive board to know what is expected of them, all the while exceeding your own members’ expectations. The only way to do so is to understand and communicate those expectations in the first place. There are so many ways of reaching people - email, text, GroupMe, in-person meetings, social media - and I had to learn which avenues were best for different situations. At the root of all success is great communication, so the earlier I could develop those skills, the better.

Being a part of the MBW executive board specifically has provided its own lessons. One that sticks out in my mind is that both personally and professionally, people want to be appreciated for their hard work. There is a reason MBW operates as a closely-linked group as opposed to individuals putting on separate events. We need the commitment of all 12 board members to keep this club going in a cohesive and effective manner. So, it is really important that each board member know their contributions are recognized and valued. A simple thank you can go a long way.

Approaching your club decisions like you would approach your TV show choice can help you focus on what your soul really needs. Your contributions to a club that you’re passionate about will be that much more impactful, and your takeaways will be that much more helpful in your upcoming career.

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