When we talk to current and past NSCS members about the benefits of joining NSCS, they often describe how NSCS has given them confidence, provided scholarship opportunities, and helped them to build more diverse networks. We really value these insights from our members, but today, we thought we would examine the benefits of NSCS from a different perspective: that of a Chapter Advisor.
We talked to several Chapter Advisors about the benefits of NSCS and what they tell students who are interested in joining. One of those advisors was Kara Horwood. As a student, Kara was an NSCS member, and she now works as the Honors Academic Advisor at Hillsboro Community College.
Kara does have many of her students and advisees approach her and ask whether NSCS membership is beneficial. Here’s how she typically responds:
“I often get asked whether being in NSCS or other honors societies are important or necessary. I think they are just because it provides a second opportunity for students to develop leadership that their honors college may not have enough space to provide to them.”
We really like Kara’s perspective here. We’ve seen honors colleges that offer amazing programs and opportunities for their students. But at the end of the day, the college’s resources are limited, and there may be some opportunities they can’t provide. NSCS can help fill in these gaps, especially with leadership opportunities that are hard to come by in a typical class setting.
Why are leadership opportunities so valuable to students? Here are a few reasons:
- Students get a chance to learn about their leadership style. Some are diplomatic leaders. Others are more situational or charismatic. The best way to learn your leadership style is to practice leading!
- Students will be better prepared for management and leadership roles in the workforce.
- Students will build their confidence and communication skills.
???In short, we agree with Kara that even students who are already in an honors program can benefit from the additional leadership experiences offered by NSCS.
Later on, Kara said something else that piqued our interest. She stated,
“It also lets them expand into a whole different network.”
The connections students make in college are so important. It’s these connections that will help students find jobs, and one day, move up in the workplace. Even at a large college, students tend to interact with the same people, again and again. NSCS is a chance to branch out and meet new people outside of one’s major or dorm. And you never know where those connections will take you.
We also spoke with Toni Avant, another Chapter Advisor and Director for the Career Center at the University of Mississippi. According to Toni,
“NSCS allows students the opportunity to build on essential skills that prepare them for graduate/professional school or for full time deployment after graduation.”
We like how Toni used the phrase “build on” in discussing the benefits of NSCS membership. Students are exposed to a lot of skills in college. But often, once the class is over, they are not asked to use those particular skills again. NSCS membership changes that. Students get to practice leading, public speaking, networking, and more — and they get to do so on a regular basis. When NSCS members graduate, they have not just learned certain skills; they’ve taken the time to hone and develop them.
So, our Chapter Advisors seem to agree. Even for students in a good honors program, it is worth joining NSCS, particularly for the leadership opportunities and the chance to build on key skills.