Hi! I’m Raphael Chen, a second-year Finance and Economics student with a concurrent diploma in Computing, and an active advocate of student clubs. I’m also the 2021 President of the International Commerce Students Society (ICSS) and would like to share some of my experiences and advice for club involvement.
Why join a club?
Joining a club is an excellent way to start making friends and support your career development. I recommend that you engage with at least one club from each category - social interest or professional.
It’s easy to meet new people and experience cultural diversity within a club environment, as you will meet people from different backgrounds, with similar interests. Some clubs will provide you with food discounts from store partners to achieve a balance between career and leisure time. You can find Interest Clubs on UMSU's club list.
Some clubs provide you with personal development events to kickstart your career and improve your skills. These sessions are an opportunity to nourish your growth-mindset and expand your perspectives. Some examples include professional networking, case competitions, and improving your leadership skills. You can visit the FBE Clubs & Societies web page to see the Faculty’s range of professional clubs.
Choosing the right club for you
There are various clubs within the University and it's easy for one to get overwhelmed with the choices. I suggest you take the time to ask yourself what you want to achieve and think about your interests while browsing through the club lists. Once you've chosen the club most beneficial for you, it's time to subscribe and officially become a club member to start taking advantage of the benefits.
I highly recommend taking your club membership to the next level to develop your leadership skills and teamwork experiences by applying for a club committee position. You'll acquire communication skills and increase the connections with other committee members. If the opportunity presents itself, aim for an executive position to gain some management experiences.
My personal experience
At the start of my BCom journey, I was a member of the Chinese Literati Society (CLS) and the International Commerce Students Society (ICSS). I have become an executive member in both and have made lasting friendships and networks.
In the CLS, I published several pieces of literatures in classic Chinese. I enjoyed discussing philosophy, history, classics, and arts with my fellow student members. I also became the secretary of CLS, from which I have learned agenda and minute-writing skills.
As current President of ICSS, I have expanded my professional networking skills and developed teamwork and cross-cultural management skills. ICSS serves diverse students and provides members with leadership, innovation and growth opportunities.
In summary, I encourage you to get involved in as many clubs as possible and I recommend that you aim to be an executive member. During the engagement, try to make close friendships, network and take advantage of clubs' resources to grow. Happy searching!
- Raphael Chen, BCom Student Ambassador