5 Tips For Securing Your Spot On A Student Association
By Michelle Lam
#RecruitmentSzn for student associations is officially upon us at JMSB. If you're reading this article, then you’re probably refreshing your email anxiously to see if you got an interview, while also debating which association to apply for next. Having gone through the recruitment process ourselves, we know how stressful or confusing it can be, which is why we've asked the Presidents of various CASA associations for their tips on applying to a student association.
Do Your Research
Treat your application the same way you would if it was for your dream internship! Spend some time researching (a.k.a stalking) the student association(s) that you're applying to. Tailor your cover letter to the position you're applying for and incorporate the role description with your skills. Dorothy Rafael, the outgoing President of the International Business Association (JMIBA), says that she is always impressed by candidates who have done their research. Impress your interviewer by learning about the different events and offerings, as well as their values and mission. Brandon Burke, the outgoing President of the Supply Chain and Business Technology Association (JSBA), also advises to "learn [about their] pain points" and "brings ideas or solutions for how you could help [them] make [their] work better". Secondly, Adreano Alacchi, the outgoing President of the Finance and Investments Student Association (FISA), has this pearl of wisdom to share
"know what the role is, and what it entails. This means reading the description and speaking with the current person in the role, if possible. Not only does this show you are determined, but it also gives you an idea if the position is actually meant for you!"
Sky's The Limit
Apply to any and every association that you're interested in! Don't feel limited to just your major's association, just because you're studying marketing doesn't mean there isn't a role for you on FISA, and vice versa. The incoming and outcoming Presidents of Human Resources and Management Association (JHMA) told us that their team is "made of diverse individuals from all majors" and therefore "welcome and encourage all JMSB undergraduates apply". With the majority of student associations holding their recruitment period around this time, it's easy to lose track of all the ones that are offered at JMSB. There's one for sports marketing, business law, sustainability, and of course, a business review.
This sounds like a cheesy or cliche tip, but it's also the most powerful one. JHMA shared with us that "the specific responsibilities of each position are teachable, while motivation is not". Nicole Nadeau, one of the outgoing Presidents of the Accounting Society (JMAS) also gave us the inside scoop and shared that they evaluate your CV for hard skills, but use your cover letter and interview to determine your personality. JSBA shared that "skills are not taken as importantly as someone’s will to learn and work hard. We have had far greater results with people who were passionate, proactive and that possess true grit". If you secure a position on an executive team, you'll be spending countless hours with the rest of the team, which is why it's important to be authentic during the recruitment process and throughout your term.
Don't Fake It, Because You Won't Make It
This is not a situation where this aphorism is applicable. Joining a student association requires hard work and in some positions, a specific skill set. For FISA, honesty, motivation, coachability, and accountability are the values that they're looking for while recruiting. "If the person is not honest about their qualifications and is not accountable for their actions, they will hold the team back", but on the other hand, "if you are motivated and coachable, you will be able to help grow the team and its dynamic".
Get Involved Throughout The Year
If you are thinking of applying for an association next year or did not receive an offer this year, the best thing to do is to get involved throughout the year! Associations always appreciate volunteers for their events, and it's a great way to network with the executive team that will be reviewing your application in the Spring. JMAS shared that 20% of the people who apply have also applied previously. Volunteering also gives you an opportunity to learn and improve your skills, which will help with your reapplication.
We want to thank all of the incoming and outgoing Presidents for your contribution to this article and to the JMSB community.
JMBR's recruitment is also open until March 22nd, 2020 11:59 PM. Learn more about our recruitment process on our Facebook page!