Here at UConn, our students and alumni have one important thing in common: involvement. Students here, both current and past, are extremely involved within the campus community. One of the major ways that students and alumni are involved is through engagement in student and professional organizations, respectively. In the Healthcare and Wellness Career Community, there are eleven student organizations and twenty-four professional organizations. So, what exactly are these organizations, and why should you get involved with them?
Student organizations are associations created for students, by students. They are student-led and student-oriented. They provide students with resources, unique opportunities such as presentations from speakers, instruction and support, volunteer and internship opportunities, and a community of similar students. Involvement in these organizations looks great on résumés and show potential employers or internships one’s interest in and commitment to the field.
One student organization that is in the Healthcare and Wellness Career Community is the Pre-Med Society, whose mission is to provide pre-med students with educational initiatives, support, and volunteer opportunities. Another organization students can get involved in is the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students. Their goal is to educate as well as to be a resource for pre-health students of color. For those interested in the administrative side of healthcare and wellness, the Health Care Management organization may be perfect for them. They offer presentations from professionals in various areas of healthcare, such as hospital administration. For the energetic students who love moving and getting active, Exercise in Medicine is a student organization that strives to promote healthiness and exercise throughout campus.
Professional organizations are associations wherein students can connect with professionals, often alumni, in their field. These organizations often have resources, mentorship programs, educational initiatives, internship and outreach opportunities, and presentations available to students. It is great to make connections with these organizations because as you progress through your college career, you can learn from them, intern with them, and even secure a job through the connections you established.
One professional organization students can get involved with is the American Board of Integrative Medicine. This organization aims to help physicians develop comprehensive care wherein they take care of all aspects of their patients’ health. There are professional organizations specifically for students of color, including the National Hispanic Medical Association and the National Society of Black Physicians. For students interested in public health and/or policy, the American Public Health Association strives to advance the healthcare of all people through promoting science over other interests. Interested in dentistry? Students can also connect with the American Dental Association, which supports dentists across the country.
Student and professional organizations are a great resource for students. They provide education, support, and guidance. You can learn about topics that you may not get the chance to anywhere else, and hear from alumni about their career paths and how they succeeded. You can speak to other students about their interests and goals, as well as join a like-minded community here on campus. You can get advice and even a mentorship from those already established in the industry. These organizations expose you to the field and allow you to explore before jumping straight in. They also allow you to combine your passions. Perhaps you are planning to be a pediatrician and your main hobby is exercising. You could join Exercise in Medicine to experience the intersectionality of your career goal along with your pastime passion. Student and professional organizations are a fantastic way to bolster your résumé and secure opportunities for your future.
You can find a comprehensive list of all the student and professional organizations, along with their descriptions, at the Healthcare and Wellness Career Community homepage.