University societies are great places to make friends and if you get involved you can develop new skills.
here's a society for just about every interest at university and joining is a great way to make friends. But the value of getting involved can also improve your employability and help you to get a job.
Jay Lawrence, station manager of Livewire 1350FM at the University of East Anglia, believes that getting involved with student journalism has helped him decide what he wants to do when he graduates. He says: "When you find something that you're really enthusiastic about it shapes what you want to do in the future. It's a natural progression."
Recent graduate Polly Grice works as a researcher in travel and lifestyle at Absolute Publishing. Student journalism was a great starting point for her career and made her stand out as a potential employee.
She says: "It's easy to say you like writing about travel, but having edited the travel section of my student newspaper, I could say to an employer: here are some travel articles I wrote and here are the pages I produced when I took control of the section.
"I showed that I could write a story, that I knew how to work in a team and above all that I was prepared to work hard. That got me the work experience, and then two weeks of proving myself led to my current role."
Ann Chan, president of University College London's entrepreneurs society, emphasises the benefits of developing transferable skills. She says:
"Entrepreneurship is about seeking opportunities, knowing how things work, and ultimately making ideas happen. This mindset and these base skills allow our members to enter trades they are passionate about, and prepares them for careers in a wide range of industries."
Emily Mason, business development manager at global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, believes that student societies develop useful skills that employers are looking for.
She says: "Leadership, entrepreneurialism, negotiation, teamwork, collaboration, diplomacy and persuasion are all very important in our industry and many of our applicants demonstrate these skills through extra-curricular activities.
"Many of our recent hires have been part of university societies, from sport and drama clubs to student papers and marketing and advertising-related societies."
Abbie Baisden, content editor for graduate recruitment website Milkround, says: "When we employ our campus promotion managers, student clubs and societies are always impressive on a CV. They show commitment to something aside from your degree, and makes you what I refer to as a three-dimensional candidate."
If you take a managing role at your university society it can be particularly useful when you graduate, says Nicole Tiller, graduate recruitment manager for John Lewis. She says: "Being involved in a student society may give a student the opportunity to take on a leadership role, set vision and direction for a team, motivate others, and utilise creativity in solving problems."
Employers are looking for graduates who think for themselves, and getting stuck in to a uni society can be a good way to demonstrate this.
Lawrence says: "Livewire gave me the experience to go to a local community station with more listeners and present a show. When Coldplay came to play our student's union, I organised a radio Q&A with Zane Lowe and his team. And because of my role as station manager, a programme controller at Heart contacted me recently looking for interns."
University of Bristol graduate Leah Eades is currently an editorial assistant at science publisher Research Media. She was involved in a range of different societies while she studied, most of them revolving around writing and media.
She says: "Being involved in so many societies has helped me get into the industry I wanted. Media and publishing are incredibly experience-based. If I hadn't been involved at university, why would any employer believe this was something I was interested in?"
Lawrence thinks the time he spent at his student radio has made him more employable. He says: "I've dedicated hundreds of hours to student radio. It's a huge commitment, but if you're passionate about something and you're dedicated to it, that's only going to look good to employers."