By Nicolle Schorchit
At Montgomery College Germantown, some student clubs are having a tough time this semester. There are students who sign up for the clubs, but there is no student president to take the reins.
Throughout a student’s college days, they probably keep hearing these words, “Get involved in your school.” One of the most common ways suggested to get involved is to join a club. Students can even create their own club. No faculty members will create a club or run a club for the students.
According to Maria Clark, Student Life Specialist at Germantown, one reason why student leadership declines at Germantown: At the beginning of the semester a student will get enthusiastic about making a club, but time passes and then “they are suddenly over loaded with school, and life in general, that enthusiasm dwindles away. They decide to relinquish their club leadership, and so leaves the club without any sort of student leader.”
Another common reason is club leaders will transfer and leave a club without a decided club president for that semester.
A lot of students also do not necessarily think about leading a club or creating a club because it is believed to be time consuming and without benefits.
Studies have shown students who are involved in clubs learn to have great time management skills, and also have academic success.
Unfortunately, so far this semester at Germantown, there are still six clubs without leaders! These clubs are:
* African Club
* French Club
* Music Club
* Tennis Club
* Theater Club
* Vietnamese Student Club
Students who decide to be leaders benefit enormously. Among the benefits are:
- You’ll gain confidence. Having your abilities recognized by others is empowering, and the work you do in a leadership role is likely to be recognized.
- You develop communication skills. As a student leader, you’ll have to speak with confidence and poise to diverse groups about your organization’s mission and goals. Diplomacy skills and persuasion tactics are applicable to almost any career.
- You’ll gain responsibility. Leaders of a group must not only make sure that tasks get done, but that all members of the organization are performing to the best of their abilities. If someone doesn’t follow through on a task, leaders make sure that, ultimately, the task is completed. This responsibility can be a lesson on how to hold others accountable.
- You develop negotiation skills. Most student groups work on collaborative projects that may have competing interests. Student leaders must learn to establish priorities and compromise when necessary. Success occurs when the integrity of a project is maintained and everyone involved feels valued and empowered. This form of negotiation is invaluable for helping any group meet its goals, including professional teams in the workforce.
- You’ll be able to network. In a leadership role, one can become familiar with school administrators, leaders from other campus groups, managers in off-campus partner organizations and other high-profile figures. Building relationships with these people can yield valuable personal and professional contacts.
- You’ll gain management skills. Leaders must oversee operational tasks, make budgets, prioritize workloads, build consensus and perform other executive duties as necessary. Practicing these skills in college can teach you how to use your personal talents for the overall advantage of your group.
- You can hone problem-solving skills. Student leaders have many obligations to meet while maintaining a full course load and attending to other personal responsibilities. It will take some creative problem-solving to get everything done and keep life in balance. Leadership experiences allow you to hone multitasking abilities that future job and life responsibilities demand.
- You’ll discover new talents. While student leadership involves delegating work and holding others accountable, leaders have to complete some tasks on their own. For example, if you’re leading a small group, you may have to serve as an accountant or creative director for your organization’s new marketing campaign. New tasks can be challenging, but they can also awaken undiscovered talents that may prove useful in the future.
- You’ll be recognized. The student leader often becomes the face of the group he or she represents. If a leader is involved and successful, individuals from all fields of study may recognize the leader around campus, even when official business is not being conducted.
- You’ll improve your resume. Employers recognize the responsibilities that student leaders take on, and they respect the initiative it shows to head a college organization. With leadership experience on your resume, you’re more likely to get the attention of a hiring manager. A student leadership role is also a great talking point during job interviews.
Leaders are often approached with unique and engaging opportunities by other students and faculty members. Leadership work may also lead to school awards, which can add another distinction to your resume.
Now with these benefits in mind, there are requirements to be a leader. One is that the header needs to be taking at least six credits and must have a 2.0 GPA. Being a leader is not as scary as it sounds and it is twice as fulfilling and fun!
Care to venture out and be a leader…? Have an idea for a club?
Contact Maria Clark, Student Life Specialist, for more information.
20200 Observation Drive, SA-186
Germantown, Maryland 20876
240-567-7842 (Office) 240-567 7843 (Fax)
Or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org