So you’ve finally decided that you are ready to join an organization and pursue studying outside the classroom? That’s great! Joining an org is an essential experience in high school that I will never forget. It brought so much fun, joy, and knowledge in science that lead me to pursue my undergraduate degree in college. I was able to branch out and pursue my interests in science outside the classroom. Throughout the years, I realized that there are five factors that any new org applicant should know about in order to maximize their adventures in org participation.
What is the org all about? How did it come to be? What should I know about the org? These questions are the first things that someone should ask about any org that they are interested in. Do not simply rely on the org’s name to get an idea about the thrusts of an org and conclude that you fully know what an org is all about. Researching about the org and learning about the type of org that it is will help you discern if the org is suited for you. If your personal mission aligns with the org’s mission as well, then the more that you can actualize your goals and achieve a high level of commitment to the org.
- Projects and Activities
Of course you should know what an org does to actualize their vision and mission (and if they are successful in doing so), and this is where the org’s projects and activities come in. It is the aspect where you can benefit from and pay back the org. In joining an org, most of your work time will be spent on projects and activities so it is important that you are passionate and interested deeply in what you will be working in. Most of all, these projects and activities is the most essential part of org participation. It is the heart joining an org. This is where you’ll get to meet and work with other people. This is where you can express yourself and your passion for the org.
- Organizational structure
Now that you’ve truly known the org, it’s time to know your place within it. Organization came from the word “organize” and to organize people sharing same interests, there should be a structure where you can fit. Most orgs have committee or family systems in which each family or committee is assigned to a project or housekeeping tasks throughout the year. Got a project that you really want to facilitate? Have a talent for those eye-catching pub mats? Documentation? Logistics? I’m sure the org will have a place fit for you.
- Alumni, Awards and Distinctions
This is where you’ll get to see if the org meets its mission and vision by having efficient projects and activities being worked upon by a functional org structure. Awards and distinctions are additional plus factors in choosing an org. This is to ensure that the org excellently delivers substandard projects and activities. Even without awards and distinctions, there are also a lot of orgs that actualizes their goals and help their community significantly. How will you know if they are successful? Ask their alumni. If there are opportunities to meet or interview some alumni, do not miss these out for it is really beneficial to know about their testaments about how the org has helped them grow.
- Application process
So you’ve decided to join an org that aligns with your values, conducts projects and activities you want to contribute to, organization committees/families that fit your interests and talents— the last step is now the application process. Applications vary depending on the org’s constitutions. Some orgs will simply require you to fill up an application form and pay the application fee (if they require). Others may require you to be an applicant for as long as a year and meet certain criteria such as attending three org events and such. But what is the point of application processes?
The hidden requirement in an org’s application process is the most important one: dedication and commitment. Filling up an application form also means that you will be able to balance your org duties along with your current workload, personal and academic commitments. This ensures that you can fully commit and truly maximize and have a meaningful stay. Without dedication and commitment, you are simply throwing away an opportunity to grow and contribute to the community.
Why do you need to look deeply into these five factors when joining an org? Why is it essential to place yourself in an organization that you are passionate about? This is to ensure that you will not be wasting your time and effort in something that you are not deeply rooted in. Even if org works gets tough and encounters road bumps up ahead, it will not give you burnout and stress because you know the point of what you are doing. Instead, it will give you a sense of fulfillment and experience in org management.