Connecting to Professionals in Your Industry
You may not realize there are opportunities to join a club or an organization as an online student. In fact, Walden University has 16 national student organizations—including honor societies and professional organizations—available to students and alumni. Participants in these organizations find a valuable support system that includes access to a community of scholars with similar interests and values, learning and leadership opportunities, and scholarships.
Honor society members gain a powerful network of fellow professionals they can leverage to learn about new job openings, professional development, and continuing education opportunities that are designed for professionals in their field.
“I always encourage students to pursue organizations that are related to their professional and personal goals,” says Angie Lira, staff advisor for Walden’s Golden Key International Honour Society. “Many students do not realize that valuable professional networking can be done while they are still studying. Clubs and organizations play a huge role in that and can be a great résumé booster.”
Lira says students who take a more active approach can use it as an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. For example, Walden’s Golden Key student officers recently hosted a Virtual Dissertation Café as a way to mentor new doctoral students.
Connecting virtually allows students and organizations to be more active throughout the school year. “In 2014, the Phi Nu chapter of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, switched from face-to-face induction ceremonies to webcast ceremonies,” says School of Nursing faculty member and vice president of the chapter Dr. Cheryl D. Parker. “This increased the number of members, as well as their families, friends, and faculty members who could share in the celebration.”
“Online organizations are a fun way to meet people from around the globe,” says Cynthia Hickman ’09, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) graduate and current PhD in Health Services student. Hickman serves as leadership succession chair for Walden’s Phi Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. “It is not uncommon to get a phone or Skype call from one of my scholar friends. I have made lasting friendships.”
Hickman adds, “If you enjoy helping others, join an online community like Walden’s Sigma Theta Tau international nursing society. Adult learners have so many life experiences that they can share with each other. You will never know how your personal experiences can change the life of someone else until you share them.”
Learn more about each of the organizations with chapters at Walden.