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4 Lessons I’ve Learned as the President of a Student Organization

When I joined the Women in Business club at my school, I had no idea that I would be the future president. I was just excited to get free food and meet some new people! Eventually, I began to look forward to the weekly meetings and to get more involved. Once I made the decision to run for president and won, I was nervous to fill the shoes of the impressive women who led the organization before me. On top of the normal nerves, I was intimidated by running a club during a pandemic with no in-person meetings. A school year later, I can confidently say that the experience has been invaluable.

Embrace Your Inner Optimist

The challenge of planning online meetings turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Instead of being limited to hosting speakers from the local area, I now had the entire world at my disposal. Although this was an overwhelming realization at first, I narrowed down my search by reaching out to Tulane alumni who would be more likely to agree to a meeting anyways. The success of that idea taught me a lesson that I will definitely use in my future professional life: when things don’t go as planned, find a way to create an even better opportunity. 

Don’t Doubt Yourself

When meeting with professional women with much more experience than my college student self, it is easy to let impostor syndrome get to me. I always want our speakers to have a positive-enough experience to want to come back in the future. My mind fills with what-ifs: what if no one shows up, what if I forget to send the Zoom link, the list could go on for ten minutes. What has helped me most in those moments is reminding myself that I am capable and that my guests are not perfect either. 

It’s Okay To Make Mistakes

Getting involved in a leadership position in college is an amazing way to learn a lot about yourself professionally. The stakes are not as high as a real job, which makes me comfortable taking risks. As a bonus, the skills and lessons I learn along the way are experiences that I can actually use when I am looking for a real job.

Burnout Is Normal

After one semester of mixed results in my club, I was not feeling motivated to do the same thing all over again. I was not surprised to be feeling this way running an organization during such an unusual time, but I was surprised how easily I got back on track. After getting some advice from friends and family, I was excited to make my second semester even better than the first. 

If you’re considering getting involved in a campus organization, I cannot recommend it enough. Even though there are definitely ups and downs, you get so much real world experience working with others. If I can do it in a pandemic, you can too!

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Photo by Prateek Katyal from Pexels

Hi! My name is Rachel Topolski, and I'm a junior at Tulane from Illinois. I'm majoring in management and minoring in social entrepreneurship. I'm so excited to spend my year writing for Her Campus.
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