Several of our students recently participated in an online panel — hosted by Julie Fitzgerald, co-curricular program coordinator, and Karen Armstrong, career counselor — in which they shared insight into their experiences with clubs and organizations and why they feel student involvement is such a valuable part of the Penn State World Campus experience.
Read some excerpts below or watch the entire video.
Can you share examples of the variety of activities you’re involved in?
“I’m a student ambassador, part of the One Lion Squad as a peer leader and mentor, and also a member of the Blue & White Society.”
— Jace Edwards, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business with the health services option
“I work as a student ambassador and mentor. I’m a peer leader for new students. I’m the president of the psychology club, and we have many special events and opportunities for students from all majors. It’s open to anyone who has an interest in psychology. I’m also the student affairs chair for the World Campus Student Government Association. That’s a great way to get involved with the World Campus community and help make changes that improve things for your fellow students.”
— Stacy White, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology
What kind of activities do clubs offer?
“I run the Penn State World Campus Technology Club. The club does a lot of things. We have speakers come, often industry leaders, who speak for about an hour. We do “capture the flag” games and other types of technology-related games and activities. We try to fill in the gaps between what we’re taught in class and what we might need to know in the field. We’re made up of programming, IST, and SRA students. We even have some accounting students and people from random other programs.”
— Rae Baker, IST undergraduate student
Aside from the social and community aspect, what are the most important benefits of being involved with student organizations?
“I think everyone should join a club. I know we’re all busy, and it’s a time commitment, but it’s worth it. The networking that I’ve been able to accomplish with the technology club — not just by being president but also by interacting with our speakers, learning things through our games, and going to conferences — has led me to meet people and has presented opportunities. I feel like if you put in the time now, it’s going to help you later on. Through all of that, I’ve gotten a job, first of all. But I also feel it’s been invaluable, and I’ve only been doing it a year. Yes, it’s a little bit of work and time, but you get the reward back. It’s worth it.”
— Rae Baker
These opportunities also give you a chance to develop leadership skills and support or mentor other students. Can you give an example?
“For Admissions, we do a virtual open house, where people get to ask us a lot of questions about being World Campus students. They frequently ask about the timing and schedule of courses, whether there are clubs and networking opportunities, and if they can still do study-abroad programs. Surprisingly, you still get to do all of those things even as an online student. Some of the first things I thought about when I signed up for Penn State World Campus were whether I was going to be able to meet other students and if I would know who my professors are. You just wonder about all of those little things. At the open house, we get a lot of questions about clubs and organizations, and I am thrilled to be able to tell them about all of the things they can do. I also got to come to campus for a leadership conference, which I loved. It was a complete eye-opener. I loved everything about it.”
— Aminah Henderson, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health policy and administration