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Amid a campus-wide effort to get more University of Colorado students involved in campus activities, the Leeds School of Business seems to have discovered the secret.
Sally Forester, an academic adviser in the business school, said a program recently implemented by the college is increasing membership and involvement in Leeds student groups and events through specialized freshmen advising.
Last year, Leeds hired two students as involvement advisers to help incoming freshmen find student groups in the business school that match their personal interests. And this fall, the college is already seeing the benefits of the program.
“All of our clubs’ enrollments are way up with first-year student interest,” Forester said.
Zach Cole, a management senior, returned as an involvement adviser this fall after matching hundreds of freshmen with organizations and helping start six new ones last year.
Cole, along with another Leeds student, talks to freshmen about their personal interests and recommends organizations according to what the students are looking for.
“During the first part of each semester, we talk to a lot of freshmen… and help them get matched up with something they’re interested in,” Cole said. “Then, after the first three or four weeks, that’s when we find out a lot of information about (which) clubs people are interested in that we don’t have and we talk about which ones we might be able to bring to Leeds.”
The program helped bring six new organizations to Leeds last year including the Business and Film Club, GLBT Business Leaders Alliance, Collegiate Distributive Education Clubs of America, Athletic Business Club, Leeds Snow Sports Club and the Business of Sports Club.
“We had a girl come in this week who was interested in a fashion club so we might try to get that going,” Cole said.
Cole said he did not personally get involved in many student clubs until his junior year, when he learned how valuable involvement can be for a student who is one of 3,000 in the Leeds school and one of about 30,000 on the Boulder campus.
“Once I got involved junior year, it made business school feel like a tight-knit community, it shrunk the size of the business school,” Cole said. “Leeds groups and organizations work with professional organizations around Boulder and Denver, so that can help in getting job or internship.”
Forester said there are several reasons why the program was necessary, including helping freshmen feel more included in the business school.
“Historically, our first-year students feel slightly isolated from the school, typically taking only one business class, it’s hard to make those connection for study groups and linkage to the college,” Forester said. “We also found that students were hesitant to get involved with an academic clubs like Finance Club because they thought they had to be juniors or seniors, so we’re trying to make it known that they’re available to first-year students.”
Finance sophomore Eric Schullek began the Business and Film Club last fall with the help of the involvement advisers.
“I was the only one who had enough gumption to actually go through the long bureaucracy and set up the club even though there were others interested in giving ideas or just joining,” Schullek said.
Schullek said he is hoping his involvement in Leeds activities will help him get a job.
“The number one thing employers look at in a resume other than GPA is extracurricular activities and well-roundedness,” Schullek said. “If you notice a club that isn’t out there, start it, even though it takes a lot of effort, time and stress, but it is worth it and that is where Leeds Involvement is there to help.”