With nearly 900 student organizations, the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides a bustling atmosphere of opportunities. These organizations help thousands of students connect with new people through an environment of shared interest and passion.
Not only is joining a student organization a fundamental part of the college experience, but it is known to leave a long-lasting impact on members.
For me, student organizations have been nothing short of impactful. Whether it was participating in a club sport or building professional skills, I have felt more connected to the campus through my involvement. I have made wonderful friends while engaging in what genuinely interests me. Ultimately, my involvement has contributed to my amazing college experience.
UW-Madison junior Maddie Vilker, the director of videography at Moda Magazine, is practically the poster child for getting involved. However, after she came to UW, Vilker found that the same clubs she had been a part of in high school didn’t interest her anymore.
“I was someone who really enjoyed clubs in high school, so I tried out the same ones in college,” Vilker said. “I realized they weren’t the right fit, so I began to explore other clubs that caught my interest.”
Her extracurriculars and experience don’t end with Moda Magazine. Vilker is also the president of UW-Madison’s Marketing Club (MKT), an events intern at the Social Justice Hub and a campus director for Bumble. She credits her time with student orgs for expanding her career and creative horizons.
“I love how each club represents a different part of my studies and interests now. My involvement with MKT has helped me grow professionally and to create business connections. In addition, I expressed my creative side through working with the campus lifestyle and fashion magazine,” she stated.
Vilker’s advice for students looking to get involved? Take the time to devote yourself to your interests outside of the classroom.
“Overall, I’ve been able to express all the facets of my interests, and I have gained a ton of experience in fields I might actually work in,” she concluded. “I often prioritize my student organizations as they provide me with hands-on work, amazing teams and genuine joy.”
Campus organizations can not only provide a sense of identity, but a judgement free space through a community of people with similar interests. The countless student orgs at UW-Madison bestow opportunities for students to authentically express themselves. If you’re still considering joining a student organization, don’t hesitate to put yourself out there!