Choosing a major: some may consider it an extremely difficult task. Especially with so many options to choose from! Take it from me, a previous “undecided” major student myself during my first two years of college. Besides taking some introduction courses to test the waters and see what fits, another way of honing in on a decision when it comes to choosing a major involves joining a club or organization on campus dedicated towards that area of study. That’s what I did, now looking back I can confidently say I found it highly beneficial.
If you’re a St. John’s University student, here are the top 10 organizations to join to help you figure out your major.
1. English Club
For all the undecided St. John’s book worms out there, join English club. Located on the Staten Island campus, they discuss multiple different types of literary works along with both pieces of old literature along with modern classics. They host several events throughout the year including their main event, open mic.
“Joining the English club is one of the best decisions an undecided student who likes to read or is interested in literature can make. Being part of this club allows you to build a strong and supportive community with students and professors who share the same interests. I am an adolescent education major with a concentration in English, so joining this club was a very easy decision! In fact, being a part of this community has pushed me to pursue a double major in English. Overall, this club is a wonderful place for all students to read with friends and create strong connections,” St. John’s University junior James Imperatrice said
For those who just can’t wait until the fall to join, the English club currently presents a summertime book club where they read one book a month to later discuss. Connecting over the discussion of different books can form close bonds which could possibly lead to new friendships. This club while obviously for English majors can also branch out to education or history majors too (or anyone who just loves indulging in a new book!)
2. National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)
With chapters on both the Queens and Staten Island campuses, in this organization you will learn all about the different career paths of speech language pathology. In the past they hosted bake sales along with bowling nights, sign language workshops, info sessions that describe the value that a degree in speech language pathology can bring you, meetings with guest speakers from the industry and events that bring awareness to different language and speech disorders like “aphasia awareness.”
If an undecided student, wanted to learn more or possibly wants to switch their major to speech-language pathology and audiology, then they should join the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA). This organization will benefit someone who aspires to become a speech language pathologist.
Do you find yourself a magician with a camera? Ever dreamed of being a filmmaker, director or working somewhere behind-the-scenes in production? Did you ever watch the news thinking to yourself “I could see myself doing that one day?” If so, join WRED-TV, St. John’s University’s student-run television production club! Founded in 1972 and located exclusively on the Queens campus, this organization prepares students for a potential career in various fields including television production, videography, broadcasting, etc.
They host several different productions including but not limited to their news show “Eye of the Storm”, their talk show “The Noon Show”, and their SNL based comedy show “Friday Afternoon Live!” WRED-TV best suits those students whose interests are peaked by TV/Film, communication arts and journalism.
4. The Bolt Productions
Similarly, on the Staten Island Campus of St. John’s University you will find a multimedia organization called The Bolt Productions. Founded recently in 2017, their content consists of a weekly news show of their own called “The Bulletin”, dedicated to giving updates on all current events happening in Staten Island. They also create other videos and content for social media, host a website with a blog (if writing is more their thing), and even a podcast called “Storm Chasers.”
“I joined it because it was a club that had activities that were in line with my interests and my major. I also heard good things about it from my friends who were already a part of it,” St. John’s University class of 2020 graduate Maegan Eustaquio said. “Honestly, I feel like as long as you have an interest in content creation, this club will work for you. The Bolt definitely related to communications, but we also had students before who were education majors who were into video editing and podcasts—so it just really depends on a student’s interests.”
Being that The Bolt focuses on multimedia concepts, this best benefits students in any major within the communications department (communication arts, journalism, TV/Film, advertising, public relations), sports management and English.
5. Student Government Inc.
Student Government Inc. (SGI) is an organization available on both the Queens and Staten Island Campuses. Each campus offers their own positions of office you can run for. For example, the Staten Island Campus offers candidates for e-board and senators for each year level (except freshman), along with one for certain colleges and commuters. The Queens campus also offers spots for e-board positions along with representatives for each year within each college and committee chairs.
“As a legal studies major, these skills SGI has taught me will be used practically while finishing my undergrad studies and beyond! I think all majors can benefit from joining SGI, as many of the skills and connections you gain from it would help everyone in real life and the workforce,” St. John’s University junior Alyssa Corley said.
Regardless of major, their lays a potential spot for you on SGI. Everyone should consider getting involved in SGI because it teaches you important traits like leadership, networking, and responsibility. However, in general, joining student government most pertains to careers in legal studies or government, so if you’re an undecided student interested in any of those majors, consider running for office in SGI.
6. Women in Business
Women in business hosts several events throughout the semester. Some in the past include women’s history month trivia, branding/remote professionalism, fast track to the future where students can learn about the different business undergraduate and masters’ programs offered at St. John’s and several networking events with business professionals to learn more about the industry.
“Women in Business aims to promote professional and personal development for students by planning events and programs pertaining to career readiness in the business field. We help members build relationships and vital skills while focusing on values of growth, community, mentorship, and leadership. As we serve as a network of women striving to achieve their goals, our mission is to remove barriers for women in the workforce by teaching skills, promoting industry connections, and providing a tangible organization for the advancement and contribution of women,” St. John’s University senior Angela Randazzo said. “My favorite memory from Women in Business was our off-site visit to the Footlocker Corporate Headquarters in NYC in 2019. While visiting, we gained insight into the day-to-day lives of Footlocker executives as we toured their workspace.”
In the past, they also hosted workshops that aid students in improving their resumes. An essential needed in any career. This organization would best serve anyone looking to major in a program within the Peter J. Tobin College of Business which includes business, finance, economics, accounting, marketing, business analytics, actuarial science, management, international management, risk management and insurance.
7. WSJU Radio
WSJU Radio— St. John’s University’s official radio station on the Queens campus, run completely by the students. The three departments that make up WSJU radio consist of broadcasting, music, and sports. They host several different events during the school year, such as a watch party, open mic night and a BBQ to start off the new semester where WSJU members can DJ the event. WSJU radio teaches important skills that incorporate learning how to speak comfortably with confidence along with learning how to use the equipment.
“I’ve developed technical skills on learning how to edit audio and working the soundboard. I developed more of my leadership skills since joining e-board as news director and now the president of the organization. Over the past three years, the organization has taught me how to be comfortable communicating with people and helped get me out of my comfort zone. With having a show, it builds my confidence even more. In the beginning I was really shy but the more I did it, it became really easy,” St. John’s University senior Isabelle Asuncion said. “It has incredibly helped me by practicing what I’ve been taught in my journalism classes.”
In terms of career readiness, WSJU also prepared its members for potential jobs and internships by hosting their own Handshake and Linkedin workshop with St. John’s University career advisors. Being that WSJU Radio focuses on broadcasting, this would make it best for students looking to major in communications, journalism, tv/film, or sport
8. Forever Friends
This organization can touch all of our hearts, regardless of major. Forever Friends is an organization on the Staten Island campus that works to create long lasting friendships with people of all ages in the special needs community through various interactive events they hold on campus every year. In the past they hosted educational forums on inclusion, carnivals, movie nights, bake sales and more.
“I joined Forever Friends because as a future special education teacher, I want to be able to help create an inclusive environment that allows our club members to connect with the special needs community to promote more advocacy and acceptance,” St. John’s University junior Danielle Riccardi said. “Being a part of the organization has helped me to form friendships with other people inside and outside of my major and has given me the experience I need in order to feel more comfortable working and interacting with the special needs community.”
Not only do you get to leave behind a footprint in the lives of others, this wonderful organization establishes great experience for those who aspire to work with individuals in the special needs community including but not limited to teachers, social workers, psychologists, or speech language pathologists. This correlates to majors like education (English, math, history, etc.), psychology, sociology and speech language pathology.
9. St. John’s Sport Management Association
If you love sports and could see yourself in a potential sports-related career, then join St. John’s sport management association. This organization on the Queens campus hosts several different events such as career week where representatives from different areas of the sport’s management field discuss career related topics. You get to learn about the possible job options that are available to you after graduation in this major.
Besides that, they also host watch parties for sports games, resume workshops and networking events with different industry professionals and teams like the NY Islanders, Yankees and Mets. If you’re someone who loves sports and is considering a career in sport business or coaching, then consider joining the sport management association. You will learn a lot of useful information while getting to meet other St. John’s students that share similar passions.
10. Chappell Players
Last but not least, Chappell Players! St. John’s University’s theatre organization located on the Queens campus. Founded in the 1930’s, Chappell players provides students interested in performing arts with the opportunity to showcase their talent. Whether you’re an actor, singer, dancer, writer, or director their holds a place just for you. Joining Chappell Players not only boosts confidence and enhances stage presence, but it also teaches the importance of teamwork.
They put on four shows per year: a musical, cabaret, straight show and children’s show. Majors that go well with Chappell Players involve communication arts, tv/film, journalism, English or history. In terms of declaring a minor, it might convince you to minor in [musical] theatre or dramatic acting. It could also convince you to work in the theatre/media industry, but maybe off stage like being a script writer, entertainment reporter/lawyer, drama teacher, etc.
While most of these organizations welcome all students regardless of major, joining a certain one that incorporates concepts of specific majors may be the part of the deciding factor that inspires you to not only declare a major, but go down a certain career path. Either way just remember to always stay true to yourself and keep an open mind.
To find out more information and to be updated about future events of all the organizations I mentioned in my article:
Chappell Players: @sjucptg
English Club: @englishclubstj
Forever Friends: @foreverfriends_stj
NSSLHA: @nsslha.stj and @nsslha_sjuqueens
St. John’s Sport Management Association: @sjusportmgmt
Student Government Inc. (SGI): @sgi_si and @sjusgi
The Bolt Productions: @thebolt.sju
WSJU Radio: @wsjuradio