Getting involved with organizations related to your major


Nutritional Science sophomore Jenna Hrdlicka signs her name on her inked thumb print that she placed on a poster at the College of Human Sciences tent on August 22, 2013. Students signed their thumb prints on a poster which said “This year I will set my sights high and rise to challenges!” The activity was part of the Center of ExCYtment in the Scheman Courtyard next to Hilton Coliseum. 

Brian Day

Iowa State offers more than 800 clubs and organizations for students to participate in. 

With everything from Martial Arts Club to the Iowa State Railroad Club, there is something for everyone.

With so much to choose from, picking a club or an organization that relates to your major is a simple and effective solution to that problem.

Matt Delisi is a professor of sociology, coordinator of criminal justice studies  and a faculty adviser for the Criminal Justice Club.

“I think [getting involved in an organization within your major] is critical for students because it does a lot of the work that you’re going to have to do anyway in terms of trying to network to find a job, and it also makes it more interesting and fun,” Delisi said.

As a faculty adviser, Delisi performs many activities for the aid of the club, which include but are not limited to signing vouchers, approving field trips and bringing in federal practitioners to speak to a core group of students in the Criminal Justice Club who are interested in  pursuing a career in criminal justice.

“To me, [involvement in] clubs and organizations separates the students who are going to get hired quickly from those who may struggle a bit,” DeLisi said.

The Criminal Justice Club is not the only club at Iowa State that directly relates to someone’s major. 

The ISU Marketing Club is another large university organization that also relates to a major here on campus.

Brett Byriel, a senior in marketing and president of the ISU Marketing Club, is in charge of the executive board for the


He moves the club in the direction that he feels will be most beneficial for the club.

After a slow start for the club, Byriel said he believes that doing more club activities through the major will help to facilitate interest in the club.

“We’re really trying to grow our club within our major,” Bryiel said. “We’re trying to get our membership up so we can do more and more with the club, and get marketing majors professionally involved through networking with outside


When thinking about a time where personal experience in a club has really helped him to grow as a student, Byriel points to a trip to Chicago to tour Red Frog Events and Chicago Twenty Something as a moment that helped him to grow.

“Just being able to branch out and network with those businesses is probably one of my favorite things; you’re getting a look into the real world,” Byriel said.

Being involved in lots of activities at Iowa State is an easy thing to do, Byriel said, but he also stressed that making those activities relate to your specific major is truly the most important part.

“Really, it puts your name into your field of interest; just getting your name out there will help you so much in the long run…it puts you above everyone else,” Byriel