Grow through involvement

Looking back on my past four and a half years of college, I honestly can’t remember a time where I didn’t have at least one meeting a week. Now in my fifth and final year for my victory lap as a student in the co-op program, I find myself appreciative of those stressful and tiring weeks. Those weeks are where I experienced professional and personal lessons, grew an immense network, had fun and developed into the woman I am today: confident and ready to take on the real world.

It’s important to get involved for that very reason. You can only learn so much from your textbook in class or a project at work. Here are four reasons why young professionals should take the step towards personal development and get involved:

###Find Your Passion
Like graphic design? Join an organization and design their fliers or website. You can belong to an organization that aligns your values and prospers your interests!

###Build Your Network
The man you met playing intramural soccer can connect you to a professional who works at your dream company. You make connections that can only benefit you personally and professionally.

###Connect to Your University or Community
Students who just go to class, don’t feel a connection to their university, and residents who just live in a neighborhood, don’t feel a connection to their community. Find pride in where you come from and how it made you who you are today.

###Personal and Professional Growth
The textbook example of starting a business didn’t teach me how to work with people and money. Being CEO of my sorority, and leading 120 women with a $300,000 yearly budget, is where I learned how to work with people and money.

You’re thinking, “Wow! I really want to get involved now, but how?” If you’re in college, it’s as simple as going to your university’s activities fair that features all of the student organizations. Consider going to the first meeting of the organization that interests you to learn about what they do and the opportunities available for you… all while eating free food. How much better can it get?

If you’re a professional, attend university alumni functions and find out how you can help with their initiatives or join a group like Young Professionals.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to take risks, listen to advice and follow your passions. Involvement has many reasons and benefits.

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