Edited By: Xochitl Castel & Zahra Khuwaja
This new blog series will focus on spotlighting different student organizations on-campus that focus on professional development. The purpose of this series is to encourage students to get involved and stay connected to advance themselves as professionals. We hope that you find these statements helpful and that you reach out to grow your network!
We asked members of SWE, SHPE, NSBE, and NOMAS the following questions about their experience with being involved in a professional student organization:
How have you benefited professionally from being involved in an on-campus org? What has been your favorite experience from your involvement in the org? What is something you wish you knew before joining an org? Would you recommend joining a professional student org to other students? Why? What is one piece of advice you have for students hesitant to join an org? If applicable, how has Career Services helped you and your org?
Organization: Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
Name: Gufrana Baig
SWE offers so many resources and opportunities that aided in professional development such as the SWE national conference, the SWE mentor network, all of the career services workshops, and the Lunch & Learns they bring to campus. My favorite experience, though, has been learning and growing my network of inspiring female engineers and scientists. Growing up, I had never met one female engineer or scientist and I came into IIT not really feeling like I should be there. So, knowing I have a diverse group of women who represent minorities and are here to support us has a very big impact on me. When I started at IIT, I was a very lost and confused commuter student, I didn’t have the knowledge to see how much SWE could benefit me and I it. Looking back, I wish I had made time to look into student orgs as a freshman.
Final Advice: To any freshman out there, I just want to say “college provides so many resources and opportunities, and if you don’t find them, ask someone because they are there! We must take advantage of the skill sets we can gain in this period of academia.”
Get Connected: email email@example.com, Facebook @swe.iit,
Organization: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
Name: David Hernandez
When I was in SHPE I was surrounded by people who were motivated to succeed in their future endeavors whether that be industry or graduate school. The sense of community along with the highly motivated individuals empowered me to form goals for myself. Setting goals early on and paving a path forward led me to be successful. I have been the President, Treasurer, and a member of the SHPE Familia. One of my favorite memories is our final GBM (General Body Meeting) of the semester. We usually have food and play music and are just able to talk with IIT students and showcase our successes. I recommend students join if they are looking to build their interpersonal skills and learn more about different engineering career paths.
Final Advice: One piece of advice I would give to hesitant students is swing by a general body meeting or reach out to people who are on the Executive Board and ask them about their experiences. In SHPE we always try to share our experiences to learn from each other and that is the way we continue to grow.
Get Connected: email firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook @shpeiit, Instagram @shpe_iit
Organization: National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
Name: Priscilla Akpabio
My favorite part of being a member of NSBE has been meeting like-minded students with similar backgrounds and cultures. I’ve gotten guidance from students both academically and professionally. They have had a similar journey and it’s been easier for me to navigate my college career. I wish I had become active sooner. Although it’s never too late to join, I wish I got a head start on my membership. Career Services has been instrumental in my career development, they have helped prep us at NSBE for conferences, held workshops and reviewed resumes for career fairs.
Final Advice: I would recommend finding an organization that you trust to represent your interests and go to at least one meeting. Go in and see for yourself what kind of community it is and if you feel at home there.
Get Connected: email email@example.com, Instagram @nsbe_iit
Organization: National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMASiit)
Name: Nimah Mohiuddin
I have been a member of NOMASiit since 2018 when I worked with a group of students to help restart the on-campus organization, and this decision has made a tremendous impact on my professional career. NOMASiit is rooted in providing an enthusiastic atmosphere where all architecture students are welcomed and encouraged to explore what a career in design can look like. My active role in this organization has led to so many beneficial opportunities including mentorship from upperclassmen and professionals, volunteer initiatives, internships, a larger professional network, and so much more.
My favorite experience from my involvement has been getting to know more students in the College of Architecture. NOMASiit has provided me with an all-inclusive student community aiming to champion diversity and is dedicated to creating academic, professional, and service-oriented events. I have loved being a member and getting to know so many students who also appreciate the unique opportunities NOMASiit offers.
As an incoming student, I was hesitant to get involved with organizations at first. I wish I knew how beneficial and meaningful connections made in a student organization could be.
Final Advice: I encourage students to attend a few events and get to know students in the organization they are interested in. Student organizations love to get to know their members and want to help provide other students with opportunities they would truly enjoy.
Get Connected: email firstname.lastname@example.org, Instagram @nomasiit