University is the last leg of formal education before entering the corporate world, and we understand how important it is to maintain a great GPA.
As seniors and grads, however, we think that you shouldn’t miss out on joining a CCA in the process! Some of the people you meet in your clubs and societies will become friends for life, and there’s no harm in learning something new or taking up a hobby to de-stress from the academic grind. In this article, we’re introducing a few CCAs you can find across universities to start you off!
Without further ado:
1. AIESEC (pronounced ‘eye-sek’)
An introductory video of what AIESEC is about
Established in 1948, AIESEC was the brainchild of 7 youth from 7 countries who dreamt of building cross-cultural understanding across nations. Today, the non-profit and non-governmental organization has a presence in 126 countries/territories made up of over 40,000 members! Believing that youth are the key to a better future, the organization provides them practical leadership experiences through cross-cultural exchanges (international volunteering and internships).
Entirely youth-run, AIESEC can be found in more than 2,000 universities around the world. You’ll find AIESEC chapters here in NTU, NUS, SMU and SIM. Joining as a member gives you the opportunity to lead and execute the group’s operations in various roles. Examples include Marketing, Human Resource, Finance, and External Relations roles.
Not keen to join as a member? You can still be a part of an AIESEC programme! The Global Volunteer (where you’ll contribute to the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals of 2030), Global Talent (internships) and Global Entrepreneur (where you’ll get to work at a start-up) programmes are open to you. Generally, AIESEC charges an application fee of $650. $600 goes towards accommodation and meals for the entire duration; the remaining $50 is a deposit you’ll get back after the programme. Do note that you’ll have to bear any extra costs, which will vary from country to country and region to region.
If you’re interested in improving your public speaking skills, Toastmasters clubs are where the good stuff is at. A non-profit organisation, Toastmasters International has a worldwide network of clubs dedicated to improving leadership and communication skills. There are 3 main segments in every toastmaster’s meeting: prepared speeches, evaluation speeches, and lastly table topics (impromptu speeches). In a Toastmasters’ Club, members receive mentorship by seniors as they embark on ‘projects’ provided through the Toastmasters education programme —which aim to develop skills in a strategic manner—at their own time and pace.
Here’s what to expect at a Toastmasters’ Club meeting
There are chapters in SIM, NUS, NTU, SIT, and SMU, and all members are required to pay an annual membership fee of about $150 to $180 depending on the chapter.
A service, leadership, professional and community service organization for youth aged 18-30, you can find a Rotaract club in NTU, NUS, SUTD, SIT, and SMU. Sponsored by Rotary clubs, which are part of international service organization Rotary International, Rotaract clubs organise and execute community service projects both locally and internationally. Examples of these include Rotaract NUS’s Mission Matuwa, an annual project that sees members head to Bago City in the Philippines and Rotaract NTU’s recent Hall Janitor Appreciation Project.
For volunteering, you can also consider joining Uni-Y! The university service club of YMCA of Singapore, Uni-Y first started out in SMU in 2005. The club aims to develop student leaders that will make a difference in their local and international communities. Open to university students regardless of race and religion, members will have opportunities to create social impact through Community Service Programmes and Social Enterprise Programmes, and improve themselves with the help of Personal Development Programmes and Leadership Development Programmes. Amongst these opportunities are overseas internships with other YMCA chapters in countries like Japan, as well as international conferences.
Currently, Uni-Y has student chapters in SUTD, NTU, NUS and SMU. Ongoing community service programmes in these chapters include Y Spring Clean and Y Dance Outreach.
5. Wine Clubs
Curious about wine, or simply a wine enthusiast? Grape minds think alike in the wine appreciation clubs you can find in NTU, NUS, and SMU!
Wine puns aside (after all, they’re in pour taste), these wine societies aim to make wine tasting less intimidating and more accessible to the university community. They hold wine tasting events throughout the year, letting both members and non-members taste all kinds of wines from sparkling to Korean at a modest price. Depending on the society, there are also wine appreciation courses to join.
Members pay a lifetime or annual fee to enjoy event prices at a reduced rate. Consider this club/society for, well… a chance to wine down.
6. Investment Clubs
According to the Frankly Asked Questions survey by OCBC conducted on youth aged 16 to 29, 71% of youth want to start investing—but only 38% consider themselves knowledgeable about the subject. If you’re looking to become financially literate and are a student at NUS, NTU, SMU, SIT or SIM, you can take either some investment courses or join your school’s investment club!
Some things the investment clubs do include: organising their own finance and investment competitions (NTU Investment Interactive is behind the highly popular National Cashflow Competition, for example), organising networking sessions, as well as conducting workshops and talks. Even if you choose not to join, you can still read their research and publications, which are available on their various sites!
Our list might only have 6 CCAs, but there are tons out there for you to discover! Take the chance to join one (or two, or three) and see where it takes you. Most of all, do enjoy yourselves; the folks at Digital Senior definitely did!