Organizations with a focus on advancing careers

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Illini Hackers is an organization geared toward technologists and builders at the University.

By Alicia Lee

Quad Day is a chaotic and overwhelming experience for everybody, regardless of whether you are an incoming freshman or a senior that has already done Quad Day three times.

Clubs and organizations are handing out flyers, bringing you over to their tables, telling you to sign up, and by the end of the day you will probably have given out your email to over 10 clubs (which you will regret later when you feel the need to delete several messages from your inbox).

From the Illinois Squirrels Welfare Association to The Illini Hot Tub Club, there are over 1,400 registered student organizations at the University.

Of course, there are the RSOs that you join to meet new people, have fun, fulfill your passions, etc.

But what are the RSOs and University organizations that will help further your career?

Which ones will help you get a step ahead and teach you things that actually have to do with what you want to do for the rest of your life?

We asked some upperclassmen in a variety of majors that question, and here’s what they said.

ROTC:

“UIUC Army ROTC has truly changed my entire life. Not only did it guarantee me job security, but it gave me the tools to secure it forever: physical discipline, financial aid to continue my education and, most importantly, lifelong leadership skills.

“Despite the difficulties of being responsible for over 70 cadets, I’ve obtained leadership experience that hardly anyone else will ever get. Plenty of students worry about their future, but thanks to ROTC, I have nothing to worry about.”

—Paul Kim, senior in LAS

Field and Furrow Agronomy Club:

“Our club is open to everyone but focused on agronomy topics for agriculture students.

“We bring in industry representatives to talk about their positions and experiences and job opportunities.

“We also discuss professional certificates and participate in competitions relevant to crop sciences. Additionally, we can attend national conferences to connect with our industry.”

—Danielle Cooney, senior in ACES

CUBE Consulting:

“CUBE Consulting has provided me with real-world consulting experience.

“It is a student organization with consultants in the business and engineering schools.

“We do projects with clients in the Champaign-Urbana area, and I have gained experience both as a consultant and project manager.

“We have done projects with the Daily Illini, Intelliwheels and The Sustainable Student Farm, to name a few.”

—Matt Brody, senior in Engineering

Design for America:

“Design for America is an RSO made up of students from all majors and backgrounds that work together to design products and solutions that solve real-world problems.

“It has given me the opportunity to work on hands-on projects that will make a lasting impact on the lives of others, all while giving me unique experience and skills that I can apply to jobs, school and life in general.”

—Ryan Johnson, senior in Business

Illinois Student Senate:

“As the student government on campus, the Illinois Student Senate serves as a catalyst for change on campus.

“We represent the student voice, work alongside university leadership to enhance student affairs and advocate for the entire student body.

“Our wheels don’t turn without passionate students motivated to improve our campus and what it offers to the student body.

“We always welcome students that want to fine tune their leadership skills, voice the opinions of their peers, learn how the university works and help generate progress across campus.”

—Matthew Hill, Student Body Vice President, senior in LAS

Illini Hackers:

“Illini Hackers is an organization that unites the community of technologists, builders and designers at Illinois.

“Members have the opportunity to learn and create technical side projects with other like-minded individuals.

“The organization hosts short two-hour events on campus and also organizes transportation to 36-hour hackathons at universities across the country.”

—Nick Kortendick, senior in Engineering

American Advertising Federation at Illinois:

“AAF has helped me make connections in the advertising industry by going on trips to New York City, Washington, D.C. and even at the National Conference in Las Vegas.

“Our adviser and AAF Educator of the Year, Steve Hall … brings influential people from all over the country to our campus, so that we can hear from the brightest in the industry.”

—Hanna Cannell, senior in Media

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