Grad Student How-To: Finding Your Community

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Grad School: The How-To Guide, Finding Your Community at NYU

Welcome to NYU! I'm Lauren. I was born and raised in New York City, and while finding my way to NYU was an easy task, finding my way in NYU scared me a bit. I wondered how I would find people who shared common interests, with similar goals as me. Fortunately, in a matter of years as an NYU student, I joined multiple clubs, and made so many meaningful connections while doing so.

When we arrive, it's completely normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. For many of us, NYU is a scary place. You'll quickly learn that NYU students are known for managing multiple courses, an internship or two, extra-curriculars, work, and a social life all at once. I like to think of NYU as a place of infinite opportunities for educational, professional, and personal growth. If you're anything like me, you want to dive in, and make the most of your time at NYU.

So, where do you begin? Here are some tips on how you can get involved!

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1. Make the most out of your orientation

Your orientation is your first stop at NYU. Make sure you listen and take note of all that your program has to offer. Oftentimes, your graduate program will already have organizations and clubs that may interest you. So go ahead, ask questions, take notes, and submit your e-mail to the listserv. You'll stay posted on upcoming events and opportunities.

2. Orgsync

If you're a graduate student, chances are your time is limited and extremely valuable. Want to learn more about finding ways to get involved on campus? Try Orgsync. NYU's online network connecting all students with every club and organization in University Life. You can use the search bar to look for clubs that match your interests. Subscribe to a club (or multiple), and receive e-mail alerts on upcoming events!

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3. Open those e-mails

Remember those e-mail listservs that you registered for back in orientation? Yeah? Open them. When the semester kicks off, it may be difficult to keep up with extra-curriculars, and opening all your e-mail invites may be a bit overwhelming. However, look out for keywords that may interest you! Your program will always send you updates on things coming up and ways to get involved both on and off campus.

4. Networking events

Take advantage of any and all networking events taking place within your program or school. Networking events are sometimes formal events like a career fair. However, sometimes they are super informal and casual, like a happy hour with peers or faculty. Networking is key to building professional relationships and opening doors for potential employment opportunities.

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5. Graduate Student Association...and More

Most often, your program will have clubs and student organizations unique to your field of study. For instance, many programs have a Graduate Student Association (GSA). These organizations allow students to host events and represent the student body within their program. In addition, many programs have smaller clubs within umbrella organizations. I was able to join "Latinos in Social Work" as well as the Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Workers.

6. Club Fest

So you have some extra time and you really want to learn about almost every club at NYU? Not a problem! Every semester, NYU hosts Club Fest: your guide to all extra-curriculars within the institution. It takes place in the beginning of the academic year, and it's a chance for you to walk around and meet with representatives from all clubs at NYU. This is a great way to meet people and learn all about what NYU Student Life has to offer.

With that said, the time is now! Welcome to NYU - may your coming years bring you many new experiences!

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