Thoughts About DoC | From a Student Leader

PHOTO CRED: UT AUSTIN PHI BETA CHI

Undergraduate clubs serve a number of functions. I know this as a former club leader of Phi Beta Chi Professional Women’s Organization at The University of Texas at Austin.

The most widely acknowledged function of clubs is that students who participate develop meaningful life skills and have a better collegiate experience, both socially and academically.

But these clubs also present a valuable opportunity for brands and companies of all shapes and sizes.

Demographically, many businesses look to 18 to 24 year olds to build their talent pipeline and to aid with brand awareness. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates more than 12.2 million of these young people inhabit college campuses. Companies seeking to appeal to this large portion of the population often partner with colleges to potentially gain the attention of these individuals. However, the most effective option would be to court the students directly.

This is where clubs come into play.

Student clubs enjoy status and influence on college campuses. Undergraduates often look to clubs and their members as thought leaders, and there is seemingly a club for every interest.

Beyond their influence on campus, the individuals who join clubs most often pursue endeavors that stretch beyond the university that houses them. Students in clubs are ambitious, intelligent and strive to go beyond the call of their studies. These are the young people that spend much of their time in college vying for internships, jobs and financial support for their clubs.

Students in clubs are ambitious, intelligent and strive to go beyond the call of their studies.

There too is an exciting viral component to engaging with members of clubs.

Looking at the numbers, say the average club member has 400 friends on Facebook. Of this 400, perhaps 30 are also in the club. So if one person were to have a good experience or opportunity with a brand, 370 new people potentially see that. If all 30 additional club members each also share this information with 370 of their friends, that would potentially be 11,100 new people, give or take some overlapping of mutual friends. Thus bringing the supposed total of new eyeballs to 11,470, from the efforts of just the 31 students in this club. If 5 percent of these Facebook friends engaged with the company or brand that would amount to roughly 574 people. The viral coefficient for this one club of 31 members would then be 574 divided by 31 to equal about 18.5.

Now consider that many clubs have memberships exceeding 31 people and that some students, particularly those in leadership positions, have hundreds more than 400 friends on Facebook. These friends are also not limited to certain places nor do they exclusively belong to one age group.

Thus one post from just a single member of such an organization could reach nearly 1,000 people from all different walks of life. There are thousands of students like this across the US.

Facebook also is just one avenue. There are Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and not to mention distributing word-of-mouth. The possibilities are seemingly endless, particularly for students with brand affinity and a large social network.

Companies also can rely on clubs to attract competitive job candidates for internships and full-time positions. Many of these desirable students already participate in clubs themselves, but these individuals can further grow the candidate pool by deploying their social media networking to spotlight companies offering job and internship opportunities.

In short, both student clubs and the companies that engage them stand to benefit from mutual engagement on college campuses around the country. The only remaining quandary is how to gain access to these clubs.

I think Door of Clubs holds the answer.

This company dedicates itself to providing direct fundraising opportunities to student clubs and offers a platform to facilitate relationships between companies and the hundreds of partnered student clubs.

Through extensive research, Door of Clubs has compiled data on the inner workings of clubs across the US. The interface is also designed to aid in further understanding the student organization members. Much of this is accomplished through personal interactions with club leaders, something that pleasantly surprised me when my organization first joined Door of Clubs. Ultimately, the goal is to pair companies and clubs that share mutual interests to create more opportunities for both parties.

Door of Clubs takes its position in the relationship between companies and clubs seriously. The company will not settle for being the first to cater to clubs; it also wants to be the best.

Founded on the good intentions of a caring group of former club leaders — some of whom I have come to know professionally — and fueled by business savvy, I can say that Door of Clubs is ready and waiting to help student clubs and companies form beautiful relationships.

-Annie Meyers

University of Texas at Austin ‘16