Name: Lori Watson
Campus: American Military University-American Public University System
Graduation Year: 2021, 2022
Degree Program: Associate of Science in Fire Science, Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Global Security.
Previous Officer Role(s): Vice President of Community Service, Co-Vice President of Social Media
Current Role: Alumni Advisor
LinkedIn handle: www.linkedin.com/in/lori-w-4568ba189
When did you join NSCS, and why?
I initially hesitated to join. I’ve heard that in some societies, you receive a certificate, and then that’s it. I did some future research, and NSCS seemed to be very involved based on how many opportunities are available to members. I joined in 2020, became an officer in 2021, and then became an Alumni Advisor in 2022.
Being an online student, I’m missing a lot of student interaction. I felt like joining a student organization would help to fill that void, while also opening up the opportunity to get scholarships, grow my educational network, and gain leadership experience.
Were you previously an NSCS chapter officer?
I was the Vice President of Community Service and Co-Vice President of Social Media for the AMU | APU chapter. I wanted to gain further leadership experience in a professional type setting. One of the most unexpected rewards while being a chapter officer was that our chapter was able to obtain a Gold Standing with the university, and we were sent certificates and pins. It was a great token of appreciation, and it is something I can add to my resume. My best advice to any current undergraduate member who is considering joining their officer board is to Go for it! I, personally, felt like we had a ton of fun, even if it was during a meeting. We were always able to share a few laughs and jokes while moving toward a common goal of development & growth. Plus, we were able to promote personal interests that we have.
How did your time with NSCS help prepare you for life after college?
I have professional documented experience in three different roles with NSCS. Some of which I have previously done with other organizations. For instance, this is at least the third organization I’ve done something community service or volunteer coordination related. I feel that I would be able to apply what I’ve learned in a career-based setting performing those duties.
What was the most important thing you’ve gotten from your time as an undergraduate NSCS member?
Be yourself. We are all unique in our own ways, and we all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Pair up with other members and act in a mentor/mentee relationship to gain further knowledge.
What is the most important thing you are getting out of your time as an Alumni NSCS member?
I have built amazing friendships due to my time with NSCS. Not only that, but I also now have a group of people I can network with. We share job postings, resume tips, and so much more. We want to see each other succeed and help in any way possible.
What doors have opened for you since you became an NSCS member?
I’ve been able to gain leadership experience and grow my educational network. However, doors don’t’ open just because you’re a member. It’s important to be engaged and do a little extra work here and there.
Where are you now since graduating?
I “took some time off.” And by that, I mean from university. I became a Nationally Registered Paramedic, I’ve attended Fire Officer I and II, and Fire Instructor II, I’ve helped train the cadets going through the fire academy, and I now serve as the Training Officer at my station. Hint, hint – volunteer coordination. I also started my master’s degree, in January.
If you could give a newly inducted undergraduate NSCS member advice on their path through their collegiate journey, what would it be?
Don’t sit on the sidelines. If you want to be an officer, go for it. There are so many opportunities. We have officers, and we also have chairs. Chair positions are still an officer but in more of an assistant capacity.
If you could give an undergraduate student who is considering joining NSCS, what would it be?
I believe NSCS is worth joining; it has something for everyone. My chapter is creating interest groups to engage with our members more and give everyone an opportunity to promote their interests. There are also a ton of opportunities to do community service, which I hold very personally. There are also options for personal development.