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Joining Professional Organizations as a Student
By The College Advisor

Hopefully you learned from your professors or the Career Center about professional organizations in your field of study. Often these organizations encourage students to join or even have student chapters on campus.

Here are some resources for finding the organizations:

Also talk to people in the field that are working in an area near you to see which associations they prefer. You'll want to get both local and long distance networking contacts. From people in your network you can pass on news, learn new skills, and get and/or give mentoring for success in your chosen profession.

Charlene, an Artisan Promoter, joined the International Facility Management Association as a student member for a fee of $35. When she graduates she will move to Young Professional status at a cost of $191 for two years, then up to full membership. "I've learned a lot from the information on-line and the contacts I've made. It really fleshes out what I learn in school. Being a member of IFMA is also a plus on my resume."

Esnesto, a Guardian Inspector, joined the American Institute of Chemists as an Affiliate for $35. When he is no longer a student his dues will be $110/year. "I've learned about the National Certification Commission in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (NCCCCE). To get the certification, you must complete your degree, take extra workshops and seminars and be published. It gives me a good guideline for building a career in this field."

Annaliese, an Idealist Champion, had experience in business management and was completing an MBA. She was ready for an adventure so she joined the Institute of Management Consultants USA as a student member for $25. "I am able to meet with others who are working in the field and attend meetings to hear speakers and network with others. I now have some good leads for entering the field when I finish my degree next May."

Milo, a Rational Architect, has a younger brother who is deaf. This inspired him to join the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) for a fee of $60/year. "I was able to attend the American Speech and Hearing Association Convention. The web site enabled me to get a job at a summer camp that works directly with children with speech and hearing disorders. I'm proficient in ASL which is a plus and would like to work as a pediatric speech language pathologist."

Some associations have few activities in the summer while others are quite busy holding conventions. For a jump start in your career, be sure to look into joining a professional organization while you are still a college student.


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