This post was written by a member of the Debut Student Publisher Network. The truly career-ready don’t follow trends, they make their own. Sonali Gidwani explains how you can do that by starting your own society.
With everyone going to university and achieving 2.1s, it goes without saying that it’s important to differentiate yourself when applying for jobs and Masters degrees.
Enter societies. The majority of people you know will be involved in a society in some way or another; be it as a performer on a dance team or on an “exec” (someone who is on the society’s executive team). Getting on execs and delivering results can add tremendous skills to your repertoire, and also looks fantastic on your CV. However, I am of the firm belief that you shouldn’t take up a leadership role if it’s for your CV alone. So, if there isn’t a cause that is to your liking, start your own.
Yes, that’s right, not only does self-starting look great on your CV (honestly we’re more than pieces of paper but never mind), it’ll also show that you’re motivated enough to grow a society and enjoy yourself in the process. When you enjoy what you do, you’re more likely to gain from it, be it during your first job or at university.
The University of Warwick has over 250 societies, the highest number of university societies in the UK and one of the highest numbers in the world. Even so, the SU is constantly dealing with applications from students to form new groups, which makes starting your own very competitive. To make things easier for you, I spoke to the co-founder and co-president of Warwick Travel Society, Simran Thakral.
Why did you start Warwick Travel Society?
“I co-founded Travel Soc because I believed there was a genuine need for it at Warwick. personally, I was hugely disappointed there wasn’t one when I joined. This is because while other societies offer tours, it is mainly for the purpose of bonding over that particular society. Some of them are also heavily drinking-based, which isn’t for everyone. Our aim with Warwick Travel Society was to provide a solution, we connect people who love travelling and the aim of our tours is to explore culturally rich places.”
What was the most difficult part about starting Warwick Travel?
“The process is, unfortunately, quite bureaucratic. We had to collect at least 30 signatures from the student body, have at least 5 execs in place, and fill out a bunch of forms for the Students’ Union. The main thing they want to know if how our society will be different from other societies and what events would we be organizing. If they like you, they will call you for a 10-15 minutes meeting where you have to present your society. then they will either accept or decline your application.”
What did you aim to accomplish this year?
“We aimed to organise a tour for Easter, start a travel blog, and have frequent socials. Which we did! We went on our first tour to Riga, Latvia, have started an excellent blog and society members have all bonded really well. My advice is, don’t be disheartened if you get rejected the first time round (like we did). if you’re really passionate about it and can find equally passionate exec committee members and society members, you can still set up an unofficial society and reapply again, which is what we did. We only became an official society in our second term but still accomplished so much.”
Images via Pramath Murphy & Warwick Travel Society
Warwick students can find the Warwick Travel Society on Facebook here
Follow Sonali on Twitter @SonaliGGidwani
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