Any student – undergrad or graduate – greatly benefits from getting involved in their school and surrounding community. It places you in touch with people who can be valuable resources for your design education and career, and exposes you to new and inspiring places and things that can stimulate your design mind.
One great way to get involved is through the development of social committees to boost networking opportunities and help build professional and personal friendships.
If your design school does not currently have a social committee or social board in charge of creating, planning, and sometimes hosting social events for students than I strongly encourage you to push your school to start one, or help form one on your own or with a group.
As a former social committee member, it was extremely beneficial to play a role in planning social engagements for fellow students (undergrad, graduate, or otherwise). As a committee member, you are able to gain access to students in the same program, or other related programs, and develop close ties with faculty and teachers who often attend events. A great example of this is IIDA Campus Centers that provide an environment where students, educators, administration, and design professionals work together to develop programs and events for their school. Click here to learn more.
From personal experience, merely attending school social events is a great opportunity too, especially when you’re able to meet other students further along in your respective design program. With them, you are able to discuss and share school experiences, learn about helpful classes and teachers, and gain insights into professional opportunities you could potentially pursue.
When a social committee has gained a foothold on campus, try to think of innovative and unique ideas for social events and how they could be conducted. It’s an effective mode of promotion to funnel most of your events through social media, and even live promote during the event through a conduit like Twitter. Make the event inspiring (like going on a tour of local architecture and design), or think about serving the community by incorporating service projects into the social calendar.
To be a part of a social committee or attend social events through your school only helps you as you become more acquainted with the design field, and get to know the people within your future profession. Get out there, and make it happen!