Student orgs prepare members for future careers


ISACA members attend a recent healthcare IT speaking event. (2022)

Briahna LeFave, Business & Technology Editor

Student organizations, or orgs for short, have become more than just a casual after-school hangout. The orgs at UW-Whitewater are helping prepare students for the real world. UW-W has over 180 student organizations varying in size, subject and objectives.  In many cases, these organizations give students the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers who share similar skills, passions and career aspirations. Students with business and technology related interests are some of the many students taking advantage of what these orgs have to offer.

Information Systems Audit and Control Association otherwise known as ISACA is a student organization providing members with unique opportunities and a sense of community. ISACA President Jason Gahr says that students in ISACA can expect development in career preparedness in several ways.

“First, they offer the ability to network with industry professionals. This is a unique opportunity to learn from professionals and get job opportunities,” says Gahr. “Second, students get the chance to do hands-on labs and demos. It can be easy to get caught in the theory of something, but once one gets an opportunity to try something with their hands, it cements what they learned in a classroom!” 

Another benefit to joining a student organization is getting to attend events that help build and progress skills students will utilize in their future career endeavors. Gahr explains that ISACA’s yearly “hackathon” allows students to practice their cyber security skills.

 “Hackathons are a big event where students can compete against themselves and others by trying to hack into things, like websites and programs (all within a designated area, i.e., legal hacking). This is usually run once a year, where students can try their hand at beating various challenges in cyber security. This is something unique that our organization usually does once a year,” he says. 

Other student organizations, like Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL), also provide its members with valuable experiences. In addition to gaining leadership experience and growing socialization skills, FBLA-PBL President Mary Grace Catania says getting to listen to guest speakers and go on business tours inspire and encourage members in their own career pursuits. 

“One thing that this student org has provided is the chance to meet successful business leaders. FBLA-PBL invites guest speakers so that members can hear from a variety of different professionals. These guest speakers often talk about their experiences in the workforce and give advice on how to navigate the professional business world. They also add an informative element, educating our members on different business sectors in ways that a classroom does not,” says Catania. “In the past, we have had guest speakers from Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual, United Heartland, Baird, and Hydrite Chemicals. Additionally, we have been able to attend a few business tours so our members can get an opportunity to see different industries. We have recently toured Thysse, the Whitewater Innovation Center, and Uline. Being able to meet and make connections with these individuals is something that I would not have gotten the opportunity to experience without this student org.” 

A list of current organizations and their contact information can be found on the university’s Connect website or utilizing the Connect Events app available in the App Store and Google Play.

FBLA- PBL State Leadership Conference (April, 2022)