Enhance Your Tech Experience by Joining a Club

Article by Emma Ryan

When Melissa Cadena was choosing a university for a master’s degree, she wanted to find a place where she belonged. 

“One of the main reasons I chose to come to Georgia Tech was the Biomedical Engineering Alliance for Minorities,” said Cadena, a third-year Biomedical Engineering student. “During recruitment, they hosted a meeting for potential students to discuss what it was like to be an underrepresented minority in higher education and the support the department and institution provided. I knew I‘d have a community at Tech that would support, advocate for, and inspire me.” 

Having a community on campus can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your time at Tech, and organizations are a great way to find your people. From plant-based eating to mental health services, Tech's student clubs focus on a variety of interests. Here are seven to consider joining.

  1. Bits of Good. Whether you’re interested in design, marketing, engineering, operations, or product development, Bits of Good has a role for you. The organization recruits Tech students to serve the Atlanta community and create meaningful social change by building apps for nonprofits in the area. Current projects include Pencils for Success, Umi Feeds, and the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta. “Bits of Good has allowed me to put my design skills to use within the social good space and to challenge the idea that our technical skills can only be valued in industry,” said first-year Industrial Design master’s student Chae Bin Park, the associate director of design at Bits of Good. “It’s also how I've met some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever known. I'd encourage anyone who’s looking for a meaningful way to create social impact to start here!” The club recruits at the start and end of every semester.
  2. Georgia Tech Ph.D. to Consulting ClubLooking to get involved in consulting? Georgia Tech Ph.D. to Consulting Club (GT PhD2CC) holds company information sessions, workshops and coaching sessions, and networking events for students wanting to learn more about the field. Additionally, the club connects Tech students to firms and corporations, giving them the opportunity to apply their consulting skills in the real world. “PhD2CC has been a great opportunity to explore a new career interest, develop new skills, and meet people outside of research,” said Derek Jang, a seventh-year Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student and PhD2CC president. “I encourage other graduate students to get involved if they're looking to use their analytical skills to tackle high-impact problems alongside brilliant, like-minded people.”
  3. Active MindsActive Minds, a national nonprofit with chapters all over the country, seeks to help students struggling with their mental health and raise awareness for issues like suicide prevention. The organization strives to destigmatize mental health issues and create a place where students can speak out about their struggles. “Active Minds has helped me to work against the negative stigma associated with mental illness and learn how to help others who are struggling,” said Sarah Ogletree, the club’s president and a fourth-year Psychology bachelor’s student. “Students are especially vulnerable to such issues, and Active Minds helps us find new ways to support one another.”
  4. Biomedical Engineering Alliance for MinoritiesThe Biomedical Engineering Alliance for Minorities (BEAM) is a student-run initiative that aims to to create an affirming environment for underrepresented minorities within the Biomedical Engineering department. BEAM provides a network and support system for its members, and offers mentorship and professional development opportunities. Students interested in joining can complete this form.  
  5. Veggie Jackets. If you’re interested in a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, Veggie Jackets (VJ) is a community for you. The club strives to spread awareness for plant-based eating around campus and in the Atlanta area. VJ events have included potlucks, guest speakers, outings to local farms and restaurants, and volunteer days at the Full Circle Farm Sanctuary in Warm Springs. VJ has also worked with Tech dining to ensure plant-based options are available at the dining halls on campus. "The VJ meet-ups are phenomenal, with invited talks from animal activists, some lovely documentary screenings, and weekend getaways to farm sanctuaries,” said Abhinav Gupta, a first-year Computer Science master’s student. “And every meet-up ends with delicious cinnamon rolls from Cinnaholic Edgewood, which are to die for!” 
  6. TrailblazersWant to get outdoors? Trailblazers provides a way for Tech students, faculty, and staff to experience, appreciate, and learn more about nature. In addition to hikes and tours, the club participates in environmental service projects, such as volunteering at farms and gardens around the city and hosting educational events. During fall and spring break, Trailblazers also plans alternate break trips. “Trailblazers gives me a way to meet other students in a safe way through outdoor service and recreation,” said Ally Kimpling, Trailblazers president and a third-year Biology bachelor’s student. “Since joining, I’ve been able to learn so much about the beautiful natural spaces around Atlanta.” 
  7. Book JacketsBook Jackets is a place for students to find joy in reading for fun and connect with other students who are readers. Every semester, the club provides a reading plan with titles across a variety of genres and meets biweekly to discuss the books. The organization aims to encourage students to turn to reading as a source of stress relief and to foster open-mindedness. “I love to read and wanted to join a club with a flexible, low- time commitment that would help me meet people,” said Anika Kansky, a first-year Mechanical Engineering master’s student. “Everyone is super friendly at Book Jackets, and I’m really excited about the books the club has elected to read this semester.” 

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Emma Ryan
Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development

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