Athens, OH 27 January 2012 –
One of the great things about college is all the different clubs you can join. About a year ago I was walking through the ARC (Academic and Research Center, one of the engineering buildings) and I saw a group selling walking tacos. They called it Taco Thursdays. I thought it was a pretty cool idea, sell snack food in a building where students spend the majority of their day. The people selling them even seemed to be having a good time.
It turns out that the group was the student chapter of IEEE, or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the professional society for electrical engineers. A few months later I went to one of their general body meetings and quickly became a co-fundraising chair for the group. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I was essentially in charge of Taco Thursdays. It was pretty cool, I was in a group with a few of my friends from class and I got to meet some older EE students and hear about their experiences with the classes and teachers that I’ll soon be taking.
It is also a great way to meet professionals in my field. There are thousands of professionals in IEEE and when I meet them, the fact that I’m a member will make me stand out. Being a part of the group will not only look good on a resume but also help a lot in school. The IEEE society has a library full of journals and article over thousands of topics related to electrical engineering. I can search it any time even if I’m not a member and use it for any papers or research topics.
If you’re not an electrical engineer that’s not a problem, there’s a professional society for any engineering field and a student chapter at OU for each. They all have interesting fundraisers like Taco Thursdays, and all groups will give you an edge after college. They are also great opportunities to meet new people–every quarter we have an end of the quarter party, and even some of our professors show up. We all hang out and get to relax from our school work. I regret that I waited until the end of my sophomore year to join the group; I suggest keeping an eye out for notifications of meetings and opportunities to join!