What skills I learned by joining a society
12 February 2024

Meso Emma, an undergraduate student, talks about the skills she acquired through her involvement in a society.

Joining a society during my second year was a decision that not only enriched my university experience but also equipped me with many skills that extend far beyond the classroom. As the secretary of the Warwick Nigerian Society and head of events for the Warwick Accounting Society, my time as an executive member was a transformative journey that taught me valuable lessons.

One of the most significant skills I acquired during my tenure was effective time management. Juggling the responsibilities of the university, society obligations, and other commitments demanded a meticulous approach to organising my time. There were moments when the pressure was intense, especially when societal events were on the horizon, requiring more from me than usual. In these instances, prioritisation became key. I learned how to assess the importance of various tasks, ensuring that I met deadlines and fulfilled my responsibilities in both academic and extracurricular spheres.

Moreover, I enhanced my teamwork skills. Working within a team is inevitable in almost any professional setting, and my role allowed me to develop key communication skills. Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful teamwork, and this experience taught me how to convey ideas clearly, listen actively, and collaborate with my fellow executives. Navigating diverse opinions and finding common ground became second nature, fostering an environment of mutual respect and shared goals.

Perhaps one of the most fulfilling aspects of my involvement was organising various events. Before this experience, event planning was uncharted territory for me. However, leading workshops, debates, social gatherings, and career events exposed me to the skills of event management. From conceptualisation to execution, I learned the art of coordinating logistics, negotiating with vendors, and creating engaging experiences for our members. The hands-on experience provided invaluable insights into the planning and coordination required for successful events, skills that extend far beyond the realm of organising society functions.

Furthermore, joining a society taught me the art of leadership. In my role as an executive member, I had to make decisions, delegate tasks, and inspire my team to work towards common objectives. Leading a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests requires adaptability and effective leadership skills. I learned to motivate my team, recognise and utilise their strengths, and foster a collaborative and inclusive environment. These leadership skills have proven invaluable in my academic pursuits and extracurricular activities, setting the stage for future leadership roles.

Being part of societies has allowed me to connect with like-minded individuals and equipped me with practical skills that are applicable in various aspects of life. The ability to manage time effectively, collaborate seamlessly within a team, organise diverse events, and exercise leadership are all transferable skills that have positively influenced my personal and professional growth. The lessons learned during my time as an executive member will undoubtedly serve as a solid foundation as I navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Joining a society was not just a commitment, it was a transformative journey that left an indelible mark on my university experience and shaped me into a more resilient, organised, collaborative, and effective leader.