ENGAGING SOPHOMORES & JUNIORS
Sophomore and junior members have hit their stride when it comes to the social aspects of their academic journey. They’ve already made friends and feel comfortable with the ins-and-outs of college life, now they are looking to gain experiences. Your chapters can support members during this stage by offering benefits that are more geared toward career prep, landing internships, volunteering, and other resume builders.
If they haven’t already, members will take the leap to declare their majors and apply to specialized colleges for their chosen discipline during these stages. Chapters can support this process by finding alumni in specific professions who are willing to connect with members and give them advice. This can take the form of webinars, workshops, moderated Q&A, and other virtual or in-person options.
To support the hunt for internships that will help members gain valuable experience in their selected field, chapters can run virtual or in-person workshops on how to search and apply for positions. Other helpful programs could include how to ask for recommendations, LinkedIn profile reviews, and interview prep.
Most colleges and universities have career centers, chapters can reach out to see if a career center representative will participate in a virtual or in-person learning session to help members write and review resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and more.
Along with interning, volunteering is a great way to develop new skills and build resume experience. Chapters can offer committee leadership positions or microvolunteering opportunities that allow members to get involved with their national or local philanthropy. Virtual volunteer opportunities could include hosting virtual meetups or events, drafting marketing or blog content, and moderating online community or social media discussions.
To engage senior members, focus on trying to keep them involved as volunteers, mentors, and leaders. Your chapters can offer beneficial experiences as seniors turn their sights toward graduating and entering the workforce or graduate school.
JOB OR GRADUATE SCHOOL PREP
Similar to internship prep, upperclassmen will benefit from job or graduate school prep. Chapters can host virtual or in-person resume or cover letter workshops, conduct mock interviews, and provide interview follow-up etiquette. Encourage chapters to involve alumni and advisors who may have valuable experience to share.
In addition to interview prep, chapters can focus on offering programs that hone workplace skills such as negotiating, communicating effectively, hosting meetings, working with vendors, and more. This can help ensure your senior members can enter the workplace with confidence. Enlist alumni so they can share their experiences and lessons learned throughout their careers.
Tip: Engage alumni that are career or business coaches as they may already have a framework on how to share these skills already built out.
SERVICE TO CHAPTER
With all of the experience they’ve gained, seniors are primed to give back to the chapter through mentor programs. Not only does mentor experience build their resume, but it can help them develop essential leadership skills. Make sure your chapters have programs set-up to connect seniors with members at earlier stages. This is also a great time to have your chapters lay the groundwork for engaging seniors for volunteer, advisor, or house board opportunities available after graduation.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR ALL ACADEMIC STAGES
With an uncertain school year and the mounting crises that 2020 has thrown their way, members at all academic stages will benefit from an increased focus on mental health and wellness programming. Chapters should consider including resources in these areas as part of their member engagement strategy. Whether they are virtual or in-person, share these mental health and wellness program ideas with your chapters:
- Fitness or nutrition workshops hosted by a local gym or nutritionist
- Organized intramural teams or virtual exercise groups
- Workshops on how to manage stress and anxiety hosted by mental health professionals
With tailored programming and benefits, your chapters can provide an enhanced member experience that will keep members engaged through graduation and beyond.