Joining a professional association is a win-win situation for students because while they are networking with professionals, they are being praised for taking the initiative to learn more about their field of interest.
That opportunity exists when you join a professional association. Professional associations consist of groups of people from the same profession who gather together for networking events and to come up with standards for the profession.
Joining a professional association is a win-win situation for students because while they are networking with professionals, they are being praised for taking the initiative to learn more about their field of interest. Members of professional associations are student-friendly and want to mentor incoming workers as they transition to the corporate world.
Beyond networking opportunities and learning more about a career field, students can also benefit from these aspects of professional associations:
1. Internship and job opportunities.
Professional associations often have listservs where employees from companies looking to hire post open jobs or internships. Students may know what they want to do after graduation, but actually finding a job can be difficult. These listservs are a starting point and students can be confident that these are credible jobs.
Students can attend at a discounted rate and hear from keynote speakers in the industry. When students go for an interview, they can impress the employer by knowing all the trends in the field that they learned from the conference.
3. Industry standards.
Information will be available about continuing education opportunities and new certifications. Professional associations often distribute an e-newsletter that keeps students informed about new statistics and best practices in the field. Webinars can be offered on hot topics as well.
4. Codes of ethics.
If students haven’t already picked up that credibility and trustworthiness are essential as a practitioner in a field, they will after joining a professional association. It’s vital to understand these codes in order to know what is considered best practice and what is accepted in the industry.
5. Updates on policies.
It’s amazing how much one piece of legislation can impact a profession. A section of the professional association is devoted to updating members about these changes. They also advocate for the profession and notify members about how to prepare for any change.