Eager to dive into campus life at CU? Well Buffs, you’re in luck! There are plenty of different ways to get involved on campus and in the CU Boulder community. Whether it is through student organizations, on-campus jobs, leadership roles or volunteering, there is a place for everyone to find their home in the Buff community.
I spoke with CU seniors Chloe Henson, Ally Roberts and Christina Robben to hear about their experiences in getting involved by joining different student organizations at CU.
Henson is a journalism major with a minor in business. It wasn’t until her junior year when she decided to join the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) club. Rather than easing into it, she jumped right in and decided to serve as the president of the club.
“I ran for president because I heard about all of these great opportunities that come from it with career options in the future. There are so many networking events, connections that you can make and so many ways to meet people that could hire you in the future, or help you get hired somewhere,” says Henson.
Henson learned about the club through her roommate. “My roommate is a PR major in the CMCI school, and a business minor with me. She told me about this opportunity and she was involved in the club on the board last year, so she helped encourage me to join.”
One of the greatest parts about the club according to Chloe is “all of the people involved with PRSSA are so helpful, nice, happy and supportive. Knowing that there’s people like this in the club has made it one of the best experiences. We are a community within CU.”
Henson shares that one of the key roles of being the president of PRSSA is encouraging freshmen to get involved. “We like to get freshmen involved so they can kind of grow with the club,” says Chloe. “There are a lot of opportunities in PRSSA for younger students to participate and attend events. If you are a freshman geared toward joining the board and want to be more active in the club, you have the opportunity to do so in the spring. There’s always an opportunity for younger students to get involved, not just the older students like some other clubs or organizations that focus on juniors and seniors leading.”
When I asked Henson about the advice she has for students looking to get involved, she said don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. “Everyone’s a little nervous to do things and a little nervous to stray out of their comfort zone. But I would just recommend to travel outside of your comfort zone, because in the end it will benefit you, and you really have nothing to lose by meeting new people.”
“If you put yourself out there, no one is going to judge you for anything that you do. Everyone is honestly going to admire you for putting yourself out there because everyone is a little nervous.”
Roberts found her niche in the CU Boulder community through a friend. Ally had a class with the former chair of the Distinguished Speakers Board at CU, who encouraged her to join the student organization.
Roberts is double majoring in neuroscience and psychology with minors in business and Spanish, in addition to receiving a certificate in public health. She wanted to try something different.
“I, along with the rest of the board, work to negotiate speaker contracts and then focus on the actual event planning. We aim to bring in all types of speakers who are going to enrich the CU community and encourage campus dialogue,” says Roberts. Recent speakers have included Trevor Noah, Viola Davis and Anderson Cooper.
One of Robert's favorite parts about the organization is being able to have a conversation outside of her major and to get out of the regular school routine. “I am really passionate about student involvement. It is a way students can really grow in their time at CU. For me, it was really important because it helped me not just solidify what I like and what I don’t like, but also helped me grow in an area that wasn’t anything related to what I’m studying,” says Roberts. “It helped me branch out into a field and learn more about people who I probably wouldn’t normally interact with on a day-to-day basis during class.”
Robben's main purpose in joining an organization was more focused on career building and networking, similar to Chloe. Christina is also a journalism major with a minor in business and is the co-executive producer of Buff Sports Live at CU.
Robben found this club through the CMCI career fair. “I thought I was maybe going to do digital and start publishing articles, but once I got into the Buff Sports Live lab, I realized I could be a reporter and I could be doing stuff on the sidelines, and get to go to Pac-12 sports for free because you go down and you cover the event. You get to do things like standups on the sidelines. You write your standup, record it, film everything and take pictures and videos. There’s just so much opportunity to gain hands-on experience. If you are serious about it and you actually enjoy sports, then it’s honestly the best student organization to join,” says Robben.
Robben emphasized that joining clubs like Buff Sports Live really opened the door to other career opportunities she may not have had, such as her internship last summer with Fox21 News.
“I interned for Fox21 News last summer and then for a nonprofit called The Skyboat as a reporting intern and I was publishing my own articles. I was writing my standups, I was recording them, I was video editing, I was recording highlights, I was uploading them and then I was doing live tweets. If I didn’t have Buff Sports Live, I would not have been prepared for any of the work that I did during my internships.”
When I asked Robben for some advice for students looking to get involved, she said, “You should join things you’re interested in and then the people who are also interested in those things will come along with it. If you know that you love something, there’s a club for it; and if you don’t find what you love, then start a new club!”