Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content

Career Services
Engagement for Your Career

Being involved in the things happening at college can bring tremendous benefits to you. These are also experiences that can be included in your resume and spoken with employers about during interviews. Explore different ways to get involved and check out the suggestions below for several examples of these opportunities.


4 Ways Volunteering Can Help You Land Internships and Jobs

Expand your professional networks

Volunteering can provide you with valuable career experience. In some fields you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the type of work you are interested in which gives you the opportunity to meet potential mentors and employers!

Learn new and transferrable skills

Volunteering can provide you with extensive training and can build important skills for the workplace such as public speaking, communication, self-confidence, and teamwork. Some of these trainings and skills can give you a competitive edge over others with less direct experience.

An opportunity for career exploration

Volunteering allows you to try out a path without investing significant amounts of time. Sometimes volunteering can also reaffirm the path you have chosen is the right fit for you!

Build a track record of working for a specific cause

Nonprofits value dedication to their issue area. By turning your values into action, you will demonstrate to your potential employer that you are committed to—and educated about—their issue of concern.

Starting point: ESF has many community service opportunities available. For more information contact: Chris Card

Student Organizations and Clubs

Between ESF (33+) and Syracuse University (300+), there is an organization for everyone on campus (and if there isn’t one for you, start one!). Joining a club related to your academic interests or hobbies will not only better your experience at ESF but enhance your resume, too. Joining organizations is also a way to gain leadership experience and meet new people.

Starting point: ESF Engage

Campus Employment and Federal Work-study

Earn money and gain experience with an on-campus job.

5 Reasons to Work on Campus:

  • Keeps academics a priority
  • Enhances your education
  • Offers unbeatable convenience
  • Helps you engage with the campus
  • Provides great references

Starting point (federal work-study): Visit the bulletin board outside of the Financial Aid Office (113 Bray Hall)

Starting point (on-campus jobs): Speak with faculty, staff, and current students about on-campus job opportunities and/or visit

Professional Organizations

In addition to providing information about your chosen field, professional organizations can enhance your personal and professional development and provide endless networking opportunities. Look around your community—there are bound to be a plethora of organizations (from small local start-ups to national chapters) for you to join. 

What is a Professional Organization?

A Professional Organization is a structured group of like-minded individuals who gather to pursue their common interests, exchange information, and network with each other, for personal and professional benefits.

There are professional organizations for every career field, and some general associations that are focused on other criteria and accept members from all fields.

Professional organizations are an excellent resource for career exploration when you are starting out, and for networking as you grow in your new profession. They are also one of the most powerful networking and job search tools available. Student memberships in professional organizations are often free, or at significantly reduced rates compared to professional memberships.

Professional organizations serve a wide variety of purposes, including establishing and monitoring industry standards and professional codes of practice, promoting the profession in the community, producing professional and industry publications, and maintaining a professional library for members. One of the main goals of many professional organizations is to promote the career advancement of their members. Many offer career development information, networking opportunities between members, conferences, and even exclusive job and internship listings.

Why join a Professional Network?

Professional Organizations are a powerful resource for job seekers. Through their various activities and services (meetings, conferences, publications, websites, etc.) professional organizations provide information about career fields, job opportunities, and employers in the professions they serve. They can be particularly helpful if you need to create a network to help you conduct a long-distance job search.

As a resume builder, associations indicate your dedication to and strong interest in your field to potential employers, and can also ensure your resume will matched in a keyword search by a recruiter searching through an applicant database on a Web search engine.

By participating in the activities of professional organizations, students/alumni can gain practical experience and meet professionals already working in the field. You can also:

  • Increase your knowledge of the profession and industry you are interested in, which will help you to decide whether you wish to pursue a career in this field
  • Increase your knowledge of companies and organizations and the career opportunities they offer
  • Improve your business etiquette and communication skills
  • Work for the organization on projects and develop new skills
  • Receive assistance with job-seeking through workshops, seminars, site visits, employer functions, vacancy listings etc.
  • Learn about and apply for co-op placements and other job opportunities
  • Develop skills through participation in professional development activities
  • Socialize with fellow students who share similar interests and career goals
  • Network with prospective colleagues and employers
  • Remain up-to-date with developments in the field
  • Learn about day-to-day issues you will face in the workplace

How do I use Professional Organizations in my job search?

Organization websites - check out the organization website, if there is one. It can be a treasure trove of useful material: job listings, conferences, meeting and event calendars, member directories, news, emailed newsletters, etc.

Meetings/events - if it is a national organization with a local chapter, or a local organization, go to a couple of meetings (don't stop at just one meeting!) to see who is there and what they do.

Member directories - think of them as catalogs of potential employers and/or potential coworkers. You can use these directories to network and conduct informational interviews with potential employment contacts.

Committees - the best way to meet colleagues at other companies (where you may soon be working) is to join one of the organization's committees. At a minimum, it will give you people with whom you can talk when you go to the next meeting. At best, it will give you visibility with everyone in the organization and the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise as well as establishing a good reputation.

How do I find a Professional Organization?

There are professional organizations available for every career field, and the Web is a great starting place to find an organization that matches your interests. You can do a general search for your fields professional organizations, or use the general lists of professional organizations below to find specific associations by category.

Starting point:  Converse with academic advisors and other faculty members, explore organizations related to your degree/career path, and find out if there are national organizations that are connected to on-campus clubs you are part of.

Inspired in part by: Syracuse University Career Services, Cornell Career Services, UC Berkeley Career Center, and RIT Career Services