Some PNW organizations help students achieve career goals

Some student clubs and organizations are dedicated to the arts, others to sports and a handful are designed to help undergrads with their careers. 

“Students come into college with a general idea of what they want in a career, but I think most struggle to feel genuinely confident that they are choosing the right path,” said Matthew Wirth, president of the school’s American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Student Chapter. 

“For engineers, ASHRAE provides insight into the HVAC industry… from our monthly meetings where students are able to meet with professionals in the area,” he said. 

Campus professional organizations and clubs are designed to supplement the knowledge students learn in classrooms by creating opportunities to make contacts with working professionals. 

Sarah Collins, president of the Medical Careers Club, said networking is crucial. 

“We strive to make real-life connections with the professionals in our area,” she said. “This helps broaden our knowledge and improve networking skills.”

Some groups believe networking with faculty is just as important. 

“[The Chemistry and Physics Club] helps us with networking, especially on a commuter campus. That is so important,” said Brittney Vroom, the club’s president. “[It] provides a lot of networking opportunities … for you to meet different professors. 

“I’ve only had to meet one chemistry professor for Gen Chem, I guess two,” she said. “But I know probably 10 different chem professors by name who also know me because of those events.” 

August Schuck, president of the Finance and Accounting Club believes networking with people in the field and professors is important. 

“We bring in two guest speakers every meeting from either different companies or professors within the College of Business that offer professional development tips or internship or post-graduation opportunities to our members,” he said. “In a given semester, we offer our members up to eight different professional development opportunities.”

Some students say they get job interviews because of their involvement in the organizations. 

“Job opportunities are excellent,” said ASHRAE’s Wirth. “Other members and I have had invitations for interviews with local companies… a student was just offered an interview at our last event.”

Mary Buksa, vice president of the Finance and Accounting Club, said she received two internship offers through the club.