Do you want to find your tribe, build your network and nurture your interests? Thanks to the support of your nominated Student Representative Council, clubs, groups and societies are blossoming at CQUniversity.
Joining in extra-curricular activities like these can help you to connect and develop both personally and professionally.
Chelsea Green, who recently graduated from CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Medical Science (Nutrition) program, founded the CQUni Nutrition Network. Keep reading to discover her experiences and the benefits of joining a club and society.
Why did you start a club?
I decided to start the CQUni Nutrition Network (CNN) because I wanted to create a group to support CQUni students who were studying, or had recently graduated from medical science, public health, and other related programs.
In my experience as a student, the Bachelor of Medical Science (Nutrition) cohort was relatively small and geographically diverse, with most students studying part-time, and by distance. Because of this, it was difficult to forge close relationships with other students.
I found there were common barriers hindering student’s ability to engage with the nutrition industry, so I wanted to offer networking and professional development events to students in a more accessible way.
What are the benefits of starting or joining a club?
Being part of a club offers a range of benefits. Some of these include:
- attending social and professional development events
- meeting new people with similar interests
- expanding your personal and professional network
- forming friendships
- sharing your knowledge and skills with other people and vice-versa
- learning new things
- increased engagement with your field of study/industry, and
- gaining greater insight into the different career pathways and opportunities available to you.
Ultimately, the benefit you get out of being part of a club relies heavily on your level of participation and contribution.
How did you start your club? What support was available?
The process to start a CQUniversity club, group or society was straightforward. The process is outlined on the Student Portal and involves lodging an electronic expression of interest form, holding an annual general meeting, and submitting the required documentation to the Student Representative Council for approval/affiliation.
The Student Representative Council is also available to assist with the set-up and operation of a club, group or society. Over the past 12 months, the CNN Executive Committee has liaised with the SRC on several occasions, and they are always willing to answer any question we’ve had and have helped us develop the CNN logo, provided opportunities to promote the CNN at events (i.e., Orientation and OMG Week), apply for funding, and purchase equipment and promotional materials.
Tell me a bit about your club? What are the kinds of events do you do?
The CNN was established in February 2019, and is an online group which aims to foster connection and provide professional growth opportunities to CQUniversity students and alumni. The CNN has a current membership base of 43 members, including seven people who serve as members of the Executive Committee.
During 2019, the CNN organised and delivered eight online webinars (via Zoom) which featured a range of guest speakers. The CNN also held several casual networking events that coincided with residential schools, which provided members with opportunities to meet face-to-face and socialise with one another.
The CNN also manages a private Facebook group, which acts as the primary way for members to connect with each another and share information.
What is your favourite thing about CNN?
Quite simply – the members! Our members are quite a diverse group, so this makes for interesting perspectives and discussions. I’ve certainly learnt a lot from many of the CNN members.
I’ve also taken great delight in seeing people accomplish great things, including:
- passing another term of Uni
- being awarded an academic prize, scholarship or internship
- publishing research
- getting jobs, and
- even starting businesses.
I drew a lot of inspiration and motivation from many members within the CNN, and it’s encouraging to see the group support each other during challenges and celebrate each other’s successes.
Has being in a club improved your connections, friendships, confidence?
Mostly definitely! In my role as the 2019 President, I have engaged with CNN members, CQUni staff and students, representatives from the Nutrition Society of Australia and Public Health Association of Australia, and various professionals working in the nutrition field, which has expanded my professional network greatly. It’s been fantastic getting to know the CNN members better, and I am fortunate to have formed friendships with several members. My involvement with the CNN has pushed me out of my comfort zone in many ways and this has helped increase my confidence.
How do you get involved with the CNN?
The CNN will be reaffiliating and accepting memberships in February 2020. Membership costs $5.00 per calendar year. If you’d like to join the CNN or want to find out more information, please email us.