By Samantha Moore
Hello Undeclared Students (and Declared Students who are, come on lets be real, probably still Undeclared at heart- I know I am)! My name is Sami and I am a newly declared Industrial Engineering major with a minor in Graphic and Interactive Design in my second year. When I was going through the process of trying to pick my major last semester, one of the things I found most helpful was joining clubs and other student organizations. This was a great asset to my major exploration process because I could join organizations that had a relation to majors that were of interest to me in order to get a better feel for how I would fit into the major.
The majors that I was considering at this point were Engineering, Business, and Graphic Design. I went to meetings for the Marketing Society club, Entrepreneurship club, and even looked into Business Fraternities on campus to have a better feeling of the business world and where it could take me. I found that I enjoyed being in the clubs, but that business was not what I wanted to do. Learning what you don’t enjoy doing is just as important as finding out what you do like! From here, I was briefly in the Fashion and Retail Society club on campus, a club that produces articles and fashion editorial-like magazines because I was interested in having a Fashion Design experience. I wrote a couple articles for the online posts, my favorite one being about DIY Halloween costumes, but I discovered that I liked the idea of fashion design more than actually partaking in it.
My next step was further investigating into the field of engineering, and I’ll be honest I was a little scared. I had gone to an engineering-focused high school, and once I graduated I thought I would never go back to that field. However, my high school experience had given me insight into the kind of engineering I thought would interest me the most: Industrial Engineering. There is a club on campus called the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, or IISE for short. This club brought in speakers from different companies that Northeastern partnered with for co-op (such as Hasbro) that I thought were really cool, and other panels of student speakers who talked about their major experiences and co-op experiences. IISE also provided opportunities for networking and acquiring certifications that would be beneficial in a real world job. I found that I really enjoyed going to the club meetings, and it is what eventually led me to meet with the Industrial Engineering advisor to declare!
In addition to participating in major-specific clubs, I also joined other clubs that helped me with my major exploration through peer discussions. I joined Delta Phi Epsilon, a social sorority on campus, and was able to engage with other members in conversations about their majors. They have an academic program called Star Sisters, where younger members can choose to be paired up with older members who had the same major as them, or a major that they could potentially be interested in. I actually sought out an Industrial Engineering major who was a fifth year, and this was very helpful for me because I got to hear about the more advanced classes she got to take and the real-world application of these classes. This allowed me to break my focus away from the large freshman “101” classes and really see where this major could take me.
I had this same kind of peer mentor experience talking to members of the Husky Ambassador campus tour guide club that I joined. Everyone in that club had very different majors, but all thought in the same leader-esque way, so it was cool to hear different experiences and stories from students of all majors. I can honestly say that my major exploration and eventually decision process would have been drastically different without the help that getting involved in student organizations provided to me.
In short: join all the clubs you can on campus! You’ll never regret the additional participation.