For most students, being involved in student organizations and other activities is a way of life at Carolina. You might have been involved in high school, made simpler in a small, controlled setting. But getting involved on a large campus with seemingly endless opportunities can be intimidating.
Advertising major Brooke Strozdas decided to get involved in any way she could during her sophomore year, which turned into leadership roles. As a result of those roles, she has valuable skills that will be transferable to her future career.
With more than 400 student organizations on campus, it's to find something you're passionate about and make your mark.
What are you involved in on campus?
I'm currently involved in student government. I'm their social media coordinator and communications director. I manage all the communication internally and externally through student government. Additionally, I'm a social media intern for the University of South Carolina Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and I'm the president of Women in Business council.
How have these leadership experiences prepared you for life after USC?
Through working with Women in Business council, I've gotten the opportunity to understand how to work with a large group, manage relationships with members and keep open communication within the organization. I enjoy bringing different women together to expand their skills and to nurture their career goals and my own. I've really grown as a result of my leadership role.
Describe a meaningful experience in your leadership, whether that's with Women in Business or student government?
Managing social media for student government, because student government hasn't communicated effectively with our student body for a really long time. When I joined they said, "We want to transition into this transparent and very open organization. We want people to know what we're getting done, where their funds are going, and what student government is all about."
We tripled our social media following since I have been social media coordinator. We now have students coming up to me and wanting to know more about our initiatives. For example, we had an Uber deal, which was great. We were able to get discounts for students. I was the direct line of communication to the students about the deals. I've grown as a result. It's really changed how I interact with the student body and through student government.
What specific skills have you developed in your leadership roles?
Communication has definitely been the skill that I've been able to develop the most. As president, I must be prepared to answer questions at all times and with exact details.
I am also learning how to communicate with a wide variety of people through admissions. We communicate with a very different audience. Learning how to communicate with different audiences has allowed me to hone my communication skills and my ability to be confident in other communication-type roles.
Why is it important that students get involved while they're here at USC?
I wasn't involved my freshman year. I was like a scaredy-cat. Then, sophomore year, I just threw my hat in the ring. I tried a lot of different activities and stuck with the ones I really liked.
Getting involved gives you something to do. It really opens up your network and allows you to meet new people. I've met so many ambitious students, which has contributed to my experience. I also got to go to a Harvard Business School conference just because I got involved in the Women in Business council. I went to Boston, heard many amazing women speak and met the CEO of Instagram.
By being involved, you also get to meet the people that really care for the same ideas that you do, whether it's a business fraternity, or a sorority, or Women in Business council. It's easier to grow when you're in an environment that wants to see you succeed.
What advice do you have for new students?
I'd definitely say get involved early and get involved in something you care about. If you get involved in something that you're not really excited about, then don't stick with it, it's fine. We have so many opportunities to get involved at Carolina. You can even create your own club. It's amazing and you'll meet so many wonderful people.