by Jesse Muhammad
In Part 1 of this series for college students, I spoke on five ways to emerge as a leader on your college campus. Read Part 1 here: http://budurl.com/collegeleaders1
In this part I want to talk on Step 1 and the key things to look for when deciding to join any organization.
Whether it is in your major, student government or a greek organization, become apart of something. While at Prairie View A&M I was being heavily recruited by many groups and for a brief moment I was considering several of them.
But before I made my decision I monitored their activities on the yard to see if they were in line with the type of things I wanted to do on and off campus in the community. After researching, I did not see most of them really making a strong effort to raise the consciousness of the students on campus. Now, that's not to say that they were not doing anything at all but it seemed like partying was the primary focus.
In the Spring semester of my freshman year I got invited to a meeting held by N'COBRA (National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America). It was headed by the late legendary professor Dr. Obadele who would eventually become one of my mentors on campus for the rest of my college years and beyond. After attending a few meetings and participating in their activities I joined because I knew it was for me. Then I joined a Black Male empowerment society called Alkebulan which I would later help expand. Then I joined the National Society of Black Engineers because that was my in major.
Soon I started taking positions and supporting roles in these organizations by my sophomore year. Slowly my name starting spreading across campus. Note: It did help a little that my name was Jesse Jackson before I changed in officially in 2000 to Jesse Muhammad. (smile)
I attended as many events as I could and networked with my business cards. At that time I was hosting art exhibits every semester on campus so I started offering my drawing talents to other organizations such as Delta Sigma Theta, who had me every year to paint the backdrop for their Mr. Ten Pageant. I quickly gained friendships and started learning a lot of various organizing skills. I leverage my talent to become an honorary member of many groups without having to pay dues. What can you leverage?
Do your research on the organizations before you make the move to join because you don't have time to waste. By becoming actively involved in other organizations, I soon gained the confidence to start several of my own along with some friends. How did we do it? You will read about that in Part 3.
(Follow Brother Jesse Muhammad on Twitter @BrotherJesse)