Why You Need to Join Your University Alumni Association

I don't know how it happened, but I feel like I blinked and three years of my life has flashed by. This March marks three years since I first traveled to Washington DC for my senior year internship, and somehow I've managed to make a life in the city. But it wasn't easy.

Year one was hard, like working two jobs and going to school full time hard. Year two was chaotic, it's as if everything changed in a matter of a few months, but little did I know all those changes were for the better. My third year in the city has brought about the life I always imagined I would have, with a job a degree I worked my butt of for, a job I genuinely enjoy, and people who complement me in the best way.

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Making friends and finding work were the two most difficult things about relocating to Washington DC, which is why I wish someone would have told me what I'm about to tell you sooner. Join your university alumni association! If there's one in your area, not joining is basically sabotaging your happiness. If you are in need of support while looking for a while to give back, an alumni association is the perfect way to meet both needs at once.

Networking opportunities

Whether you're looking for a new job or for connections within your city, events hosted by your alumni association are a great place to meet people you have something in common with. The majority of attendees will be people your age with similar goals, which makes swapping information and making small talk much easier.

Form new friendships

If you're struggling to make new friends, alumni associations are a great opportunity to meet people who most likely aren't from the area and are open to meeting new people. Many alumni associations host meet and greet events for members, and if you're lucky, your group will have a member log to help you connect with individuals who may not attend every event.

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Give back to your peers

Here in Washington DC, my university's alumni association partners up with the internship program I was once a part of. Once every few months alumni in the area visit the internship center for a night of networking with soon to be graduates. Not only is this a great way to meet new and old alumni in the city, but it's also an easy way to help students who like me are interested about what life is like in the city long term.

Boost your resume

Need a way to improve your resume outside of switching jobs? Consider joining the leadership team of your alumni association! A full proof way to meet a ton of people who join the organization while also developing new skills and keeping old ones relevant. Most alumni associations don't require much of a time commitment while serving as a creative way to add experience to your resume.

Are you a part of your university's alumni association? If so, what have some of the benefits been?

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