The Role of the Student Organization

Sports can sometimes get a bad rap. I get it, I really do. It’s an industry with oversized egos, bloated paychecks, and doesn’t necessarily provide the same kind of net societal benefit as say education or healthcare or, frankly, a lot of other things. I get it.

But as for me? I love sports. I love arguing about whether or not NBA players are overpaid (they’re not), I love playing a pickup game of soccer on a lazy Sunday, or witnessing a dream become a reality (go Cubs).

When I came to Illinois I knew that sports needed to be a part my life. Having never been the star athlete in high school, I figured sports business might be more up my alley. Through a little bit of research I found the Illinois Sports Business Conference, which sought to bridge the gap between sports and business on campus through an annual conference. Perfect.

When I first joined the organization I became a part of the speakers team, recruiting sports business professionals from across the country to present at our conference. I developed skills such as professional communication, time management, and goal setting. It was exciting to get involved in an industry I cared about within my first semester on campus.

All of this was possible due to joining a student organization. Through ISBC, and the other organizations I have been associated with, I’ve made valuable connections with great people and learned countless personal and professional lessons.

Arriving on campus, many students wonder whether or not they are going to make new friends, get good grades, and adjust well to college life. It may seem logical to wait a semester or two before getting involved in a student organization so that you can “sort these things out first.” Which makes sense. This whole college thing isn’t easy, and I understand if you don’t want to jump into too many new situations within a month of arriving on campus.

But I’d like to argue for the opposite. Student organizations, especially at a larger university, help students create structure, make connections, and personally develop over their four years. I know this because it happened to me.

In the coming weeks I’ll make a post regarding tips for Quad Day, our biggest display of all the incredible student organizations our campus has to offer. Talk soon.

Quad Day at Illinois

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