Posts Tagged ‘student organizations’

Student Leaders: How to make the most of your summer

Monday, July 2nd, 2012


Author Louise Blavet is a graduate from Tufts University in International Relations with a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership, and is interning this summer at Wiggio.

Are you one of those really busy students with many leadership positions? Do you find the first few weeks of college hectic as you try to balance classes, club meetings, sports, and partying with your friends?

What Wiggio recommends: use your summer to plan ahead!

Summer days are usually spent hanging out with family and friends, traveling, working, reading, sleeping, and/or tanning. Spending a couple minutes out of your vast days to think ahead and plan for the fall can be vital in alleviating some of the pressures you get during that first week of school. Here are a few tips that can help you plan for your organization’s successful fall semester roll-out.

1. Determine your tools for success: Whether you plan to start a new campus organization or lead the club you have been presiding for three years, it’s important to identify your organization’s needs, goals and objectives for the fall. Once you’ve understood what you want accomplished by the end of the summer, you will more easily know what events and meeting topics you will want to implement. The earlier you do this, the better. As a leader, having this vision will not only help you plan relevant content, it will help communicate your mission more eloquently and motivate others to follow.

2. Bureaucratic stuff: Check your college’s Student Activities Center, to make sure your organization has fulfilled all the paperwork, funding requests, and workshop sign-ups to ensure your existence on campus. You also might want to make sure you have an awesome classroom reserved for your weekly meetings.

3. Recruitment Planning: Want to impress incoming freshmen and lure upperclassmen? Instead of putting together last minute unappealing word.doc posters, and chalking your campus grounds before a rainy day, start thinking about what makes your organization different or unique, what it has to offer, and how students can benefit from being a member to develop a recruitment strategy that works.

4. Expand your Network! You’re still in college, so you might not know how important networking is. However, if you want to push your organization to the next level, explore opportunities to partner with other student organizations, or find faculty members for mentorship and development.

5. Calendar Planning. It’s probably the most helpful tool you could ever use, so use and share that Wiggio calendar! Take the time to plan all your fall semester events, meetings, socials, etc. in a coherent manner. In your planning, also mark your school’s important days (Homecoming, midterms, days off…) to avoid planning events during these conflict times. Make sure that all events are dispersed throughout the semester, giving realistic times to prepare for them.

6. Stay in touch. Few students are thinking about school over the summer. Perhaps you don’t need to reach out to your general members, but it’s important that they know they can reach you anytime.  Also, keeping your executive members involved will reduce some of their fall semester responsibilities.

7. KEEP IT FUN :) Students join campus organizations primarily because they seek a social environment that offers friendship, support and understanding. Collaborating together doesn’t always mean serious business, so when you’re brainstorming ideas for events, meetings, marketing strategies, make sure you keep it fun!

Student Orgs: Wrapping Up The Year, Part 1

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Hello Wiggio-heads!  Intern Charles here, giving you tips on how to make the most of the end of the year.

When I was a freshman, I had the crazy idea of jumping right in as President of an organization.  After three years of knowing the ins and outs of leading a student group, I can easily relate to the somewhat stressful end of the year wrap-up process. With final projects, exams, and summer plans brewing in the background, it’s easy to get frazzled over this.

To tackle the end of the year effectively, first consider the following possible scenarios :

1) Electing New Leaders? A change of leadership is a delicate situation, because your group not only needs to hold elections, but it also will be adopting a new group chemistry.  Set up a smooth election process that will set a standard for next year.

2) Change of Group Work Style? – Maybe some processes throughout the year didn’t go off as smoothly as you had hoped.  Think about:

  • Retention rate of active members – do you constantly see familiar faces?
  • Budget – did you run out of funds too quickly?
  • Responsibilities - did you feel too stressed as a leader or pick up other’s work?

If so, you may need to make some big changes next year.

3) Expenditure Reports – Does your Student Government Organization require you to pull together a report at the end of the year of yearly budgets and expenditures?  This is a big pain when you’re already stressed to study and write papers.  Don’t leave this to the last minute, it will be a guaranteed headache.

4) Going Out with a Fizzle or a Bang? – The last meeting of the year is crucial.  If it goes well, your members are more likely to come back the next year.  If it doesn’t, the experience becomes underwhelming and disappointing.  Whether you plan to have a small intimate gathering, or an event that invites the whole campus to celebrate your achievements, put in the effort to plan a successful final meeting.

So, here’s your homework, Wiggio-heads: Talk to your E-Board and discuss those four points. Write them down where everyone can visit it – maybe even start a shareable document on Wiggio online.

Stay tuned for part 2! I’ll let you know what small steps you can take to make a greater impact to your organization.

Until next time,

Intern Charles