When Rachel Pruitt was lacking a connection to ASU as an online student she decided to take matters into her own hands. She worked with other online students to identify areas where online students were feeling disconnected, which lead to establishing her own club for online students, W.P. Carey Online Business Student Association, or OBSA.
“We found other clubs that said they accepted online students, but there wasn’t much done to engage the online population. We wanted to establish a group specifically for ASU Online. To join OBSA you have to be taking at least one online class.”
Rachel works hard to make the OBSA club experience valuable for its members. She organizes speakers, networking opportunities, workshops, monthly meetings and reviews new member applications.
“I am constantly reaching out to people to request speakers for our group. I cold call businesses, contact my personal network, utilize the ASU Alumni Association and more. The speakers present on Adobe Connect so people have the option to chat and ask questions, then I post it to our Facebook page, OrgSync and email it out to the group after.”
Rachel has big plans for the future of OBSA.
“We’re hosting our first workshop on how to land your dream job. We’re planning for a lot of growth with this group and hope to have in-person events in the future. Right now, we have members all over the country. I’ll be meeting with one of our board members when I travel to Michigan this summer.”
That feeling of connection to ASU has changed drastically for Rachel since creating a student club.
“I would get frustrated because I got so many emails about events happening around Phoenix that I was unable to attend since I’m located in Seattle. I don’t want to say I didn’t enjoy my ASU experience before being a part of OBSA, but now I feel like I play such a bigger part at the university. When I graduated in May I came to campus and it was so cool to meet the people that I had been working with, like our advisor Kate.”
Rachel’s tips for starting a student club include having the right people in place. She attributes OBSA’s success to her amazing executive team. Having a great advisor also makes a huge difference, as they are the ones on the ground helping to facilitate all these meetings and events.
Right now, the group is finding new members through word-of-mouth, newsletters, emails, social media and promotion of their events on OrgSync. Requirements of this club include being a W.P. Carey student (graduate or undergraduate) and be enrolled in at least one online class.