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We all Have Stories: Mine is About Getting Involved
Jessica is a 5th year mechanical engineer, minoring in biomechanical engineering and business administration. She has gone abroad, done research and 3 coops. She also was the president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and is a tour guide.
Not every student gets involved in campus life or student organizations while at Northeastern, but why wouldn't you want to? You don’t have to know what group(s) you want to be a part of but signing up for emails and going to meetings is the best way to find out.
You can start before classes even begin your freshman year. NuServes is an awesome program; I had a blast! 50 freshman move in a week early and spend that time working in groups doing community service projects throughout the neighborhoods surrounding campus. This program jump started my involvement here at Northeastern.
Once settled into my residence hall, our RA organized events for our floor, the connections llc. This floor was all female engineering and computer science majors. Through these events, I met most of the members of my floor. We all had a lot of the same classes, and 5 years later we still do. One girl I met, Paula, lived 2 doors down. She and I have been friends and roommates ever since.
One of the events we attended was a Society of Women Engineers (SWE) meeting. Attending this meeting got me interested in going to meetings for my major specific group, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. At the end of the semester ASME was looking for students to join the executive board for the next semester. I joined as the events coordinator for sophomore year, to work on events outside of our regular meetings. In my third year I became Vice President, helping to coordinate the regular meetings. In my fourth and fifth years I was President coordinating regular meetings and initiating new programs. We joined forces with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers to run a co-op mixer. The event was for students to network with employers in a less formal setting than a career fair. 17 employers and approximately 150 students attended the event.
Even through my involvement with ASME I tried to stay active in SWE, volunteering where I could during events. One of these events led me to volunteering to sell 50/50 raffle tickets at the Red Sox games to benefit the Red Sox Foundation. Because Northeastern volunteers were so successful at raising money during the games, and the Red Sox partnership with Northeastern, the Red Sox Foundation started working with student leaders to initiate the Red Sox Charity Challenge. This event was designed to empower Northeastern students to give back to their community in a fun and engaging way. I was one of the main student leaders to help with this program, attending meetings at Fenway (in the press box!) and helping to bring the World Series Trophies, Wally and Paws to Centennial Common to interest people in joining the Challenge.
The Charity Challenge was going to have three parts: a coat drive for the Dimock Center in Roxbury, a fundraiser where half of the money raised would benefit the Red Sox Scholars and the rest would go towards Learning by Giving, plus an awareness challenge where students could propose “the next Ice Bucket Challenge” or a way to raise public awareness for the Red Sox Foundation programs. The groups and individuals who raised the most would receive prizes from the Red Sox. Unfortunately, due to timing of other major fundraisers on campus (NU Dance Marathon and Relay for Life) the Challenge was postponed until we can find a better time to get more people involved.
So to bring it back to getting involved on campus, you just need to try. Finding out what you are passionate about and what you dislike requires you to try different things out. The only two organizations I fully participated with are ASME and Husky Ambassadors (tour guides), though I tried a lot more. For example, I was part of CUP, the council for university programs, freshman year. I worked their Howie Mandel show during Parents Weekend; Paula and I worked the spotlight and had so much fun, but it wasn’t what we wanted to do. Don’t be afraid to try something new, this is college after all! The worst thing that can happen is that you will learn what you don’t like, which is just as important, if not more so, than knowing what you do enjoy. I never thought I would be a tour guide. I hated public speaking and was terrible at talking in front of groups, but my love of Northeastern and everything it has given me overrode that fear and I have been sharing my experiences for 4.5 years.
I will be graduating in May with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a minor in Biomechanical Engineering and a minor in Business Administration, having completed a Dialogue of Civilization to Brazil, 4 months of research experience through ALERT and CenSSIS, and 2 years of work experience. I would not be where I am today if I had not gotten involved as I discussed in this blog post.
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the content of the article at email@example.com or http://morrisj63.wix.com/jessicamorris.