We have all put crazy amounts of time and effort into scoring high on exams, keeping our GPAs afloat, and loading up on work and internship experiences. We do all of these things to build up our resumes and make ourselves appealing to potential employers. However, there is another component to the package of knowledge, skills, and experiences that we build for ourselves, and it is a component that we can often overlook. I’m talking about getting involved in student organizations.
Purdue is excited to boast about the 900+ student organizations that it has to offer. While student organizations are often seen as an opportunity for students to have fun, it’s important to not overlook their potential to provide students with the chance to build leadership, dedicate time to service, engage with a wider campus community, and to display pride in their interests. I encourage you to find the time to join a student organization or two so that you can add more to your Purdue experience. While your student organization involvement does not have to be directly related to your field of study (I spent two years as the president of a student radio station), there are plenty of academic organizations to become a part of that are related to your major. As an NRES student, I’d like to introduce you the Environmental Science Club.
Purdue’s Environmental Science Club, or ESC, is the oldest environmentally focused student organization on campus. Our members not only include students in environmentally centered majors, but also include students across many academic departments. This offers us the chance to learn and have fun with classmates from a whole assortment of backgrounds. Collectively, our membership includes a group of peers with the shared interest of learning more about the environmental field and building a more environmentally aware community on our campus.
ESC meets a few times a month both in and out of the classroom. Lecture style meetings include presentations by guests speakers who range from faculty involved in campus research to alumni who share about their environmental careers, to representatives from the Greater Lafayette Area who discuss their community outreach efforts. Speaker nights cover a wide variety of topics and provide our members with the chance to network with individuals who may share our particular interests.
As a club, we also do a lot to take our learning out into the field. Club events include service days with local land trusts or the Nature Conservancy where we do everything from invasive species removal to assisting with controlled burns, seed harvesting, and site restoration. Other club outings include hikes at state parks, camping trips, visits to environmental companies, and even canoe floats on Wildcat Creek.
I’ve had the chance to do many fun and exciting things with ESC that have introduced me to sides of Environmental Science that can’t be experienced in the classroom. Most of all, I have shared these experiences with other students who have become my friends over the years. If you’re in NRES at Purdue, ESC is a great resource that I would hate for you to miss out on. To get involved, find us on Boilerlink, talk to a club member, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to seeing you around!