How starting a Her Campus chapter at my University changed my college experience. What I learned, what I gained, and what I discovered about myself along the way. #HCXOMy first semester of college, I wasn’t as involved as I wanted to be. My second semester in college, I changed that by taking a big step.
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On Saint Patrick’s Day 2015, after many months of preparation and anticipation, I launched my college campus’ chapter of Her Campus. There were many ups and many downs along the way, but after 3 months of preparation our chapter launched with a team of 15 girls, which quickly grew to 20, and which is now at 25 and still growing. My role in this chapter is Campus Correspondent, which is the equivalent of the President of Editor-in-Chief.

Campus Correspondent

When I first heard about this opportunity, I had only just begun to read Her Campus as I just had begun my first semester at Cal Lutheran University. Her Campus at its core is an online global magazine for college women, by college women. It is a wonderful resource for everything from style, health, beauty, and love, to life, career, LGBTQ+, high school, and the real world. There are over 6,700 people that contribute to Her Campus, and it has become a huge name in the college community.

Her Campus also offers content from over 270 chapters from college campus’ worldwide. These chapters, which is what I started at my university, provide a career launching point for college women with an interest in journalism, social media, marketing, communications, leadership, management, photography, event planning, and so much more. The chapters provide content similar to that on the Her Campus national website, but more focused toward a specific college campus to be relevant for a specific university of students.

My university isn’t well known for its student life involvement in extracurricular activities. We don’t have Greek life, we don’t have a huge student body, we don’t have many programs on campus that involve a large amount of the student body. What we do have, is drive. Students at my school are well known for being very driven in their academics and focused on their future career.

I absolutely love being involved in extracurricular activities. I love creating new things, starting programs and projects from the bottom up and making them into something big. Making an impact. Leading. Creating. This was the perfect opportunity for me to combine my favorite things and make an impact in my university. So I gathered together a team of my friends and we launched Her Campus Cal Lutheran.

At Her Campus Cal Lutheran we define our chapter as “an online hub for Cal Lutheran’s women that provides content that is both a resource and a source of entertainment, highlighting campus news & events, interesting students & faculty, campus photos, fashion and lifestyle content specifically tailored for women at Cal Lutheran.”

During the school year my team of writers works with our team of editors and our photographers to push out content, multiple articles per day, relevant to our student body. Then our social media team shares each story on our social media channels, tracks our analytics, and learns how to spread our reach. Our event planning team works with our publicity team to create events on campus to spread word about Her Campus Cal Lutheran as well as bring entertainment and other resources to our student body.

Launching a chapter of Her Campus at my university has been a huge game changer in my college career so far. In only 2 months I’ve had the opportunity to do some amazing things, and even more are on their way! Here are some of the great opportunities I’ve had through being involved in Her Campus at my school.


I’ve Been Able to Feel Accomplished

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Only 2 months after we launched, Her Campus Cal Lutheran was awarded the title of a Silver Level Chapter by Her Campus Nationals who ranks each chapter by level based on a variety of guidelines each year. When that was announced I felt my heart skip a beat. I remember jumping out of my chair in my dorm room, turning to my 3 roommates who are on my Her Campus team and telling them the great news. They were so excited as well that we all ran straight to Starbucks to celebrate together.

Shortly after that we were given the news that one of our Campus Celebrity articles was awarded 2nd place out of all 270 chapters. The writer who wrote that article was incredibly excited and every girl in our chapter was incredibly proud of her for getting her hard work recognized.


I’ve Been Able to Learn to Trust People

In my free time I stage manage at a professional theatre. If you know anything about technical theatre, you may know that a stage manager is generally well known for doing everything themselves in order to get it right the first time. I definitely was the same way.

When I jumped into Her Campus I started off by re-editing every article before it posted. Being in charge of our social media channels all by myself. Being the only one in contact with school administration to solve problems and present to the school government. I did everything, except for the writing, myself. I quickly became overwhelmed and had to reach out for help to my social media team and my editors and find a plan that worked better for all of us.

It worked, now I supervise, but not micromanage. I’ve learned that stepping back and giving somebody else the reigns for a little while is a good idea and can sometimes lead to a large amount of growth within our chapter. I’m learning to delegate jobs, even when I’m not sure if they can handle it, and take a breather when I need it.


I’ve Learned How to Organize a Large Team of People

This was, and still is, definitely a trial and error process. Each team of people works differently and sometimes it takes a lot of effort to find what sticks with your team. Google Docs is my best friend when it comes to sharing resources, editorial calendars, schedules, ideas, and guides to my team online.

I’ve also learned how to talk in front of a group of people, either at a team meeting or posting information to my chapter online.

Along with this I’ve learned that this entire system is a huge collaboration. Since my chapter is still building itself from the ground up, every decision that we make (from deadlines to meeting times to what app we’ll use for our team wide group chat), is a collaborative effort. We vote and decide on everything as a team, which I have found is a great trick for keeping my team focused on meeting their deadlines.. If they set it themselves!


I’ve Been Able to Make New Friends

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I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many amazing girls on my campus through Her Campus who I might not have crossed paths with otherwise. I’ve had the chance to work with girls who are determined to go far in journalism as a career, and girls who just enjoy writing or marketing for fun in their free time.

As a Campus Correspondent I make it clear to all the girls in my chapter that I am here to support them every step of the way, in and out of our chapter, no matter what they need.


I’ve Gotten Some Free Stuff

Hey, I’m being honest here, I love free stuff. From getting “Survival Kits” with goodies from Her Campus sponsors that I hand out to my team, and being one of the first people to read Her Campus’ new book, to receiving sponsored post and campus event opportunities from big brands and so much more, being a part of a Her Campus chapter has the opportunity to get you some free stuff and connected with some pretty big brands!

I’ll admit it, when I showed up at my final chapter meeting with a box full of goodies from our Summer Survival kit, the look on my member’s faces was pure joy!


I’ve Learned How to Budget

My chapter is funded by my university because it is a registered student organization on campus. I’ve had to learn how to make presentations in front of my entire student government, I had to create a budget for requesting money, and then re-create the budget once we were allotted the actual amount of money.

I’ve had to juggle reimbursements from the student government around my own paychecks from work to be able to have enough money to buy groceries at the end of the week. I’ve had to figure out how much money it takes to put on an event on campus, and I’ve had to learn how to find the best deals on everything from custom vinyl signs to business cards online.


I’ve Learned That I Love Managing

Interest Leading
Ok, maybe this is a little cheating since I’ve known this for quite a while now… but hear me out. I’ve known that I love managing, but managing a chapter of Her Campus has just reinforced that idea.

Right now I’m out on Summer break from my university, so we aren’t posting any content to our website. However, I’m taking this time to completely re-vamp all of our online resources, get together our budget and event plans for the upcoming year, and get my team all on the same track so we can jump into this year strong together.

I’m so excited to start this year with Her Campus, I can’t wait!


How You Can Get Involved

If your college campus has a chapter of Her Campus that you’re interested in joining, do it! To get in contact with your school’s Campus Correspondent and learning how they run their chapter and what you can do to get involved, go to Her Campus, click on the “My Campus” tab and find your school. Then on the right hand side you’ll see a contact e-mail address for getting in reach with your Campus Correspondent.

Being a part of Her Campus is a great way for students who are interested in marketing or PR to gain experience in different areas, network with other college journalists, and participate in marketing campaigns with national clients.

If your college campus does not have a chapter of Her Campus, consider starting one like I did! Applications for Fall 2015 are being accepted until August 15th. To find out more visit Her Campus here. If you have any questions for me about what the process was like, or if you just want to chat, feel free to contact me. I love hearing from you!

Does your school have a chapter of Her Campus? Are you involved? Why or why not?

 

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P.S. If you liked this post you might like some of my other ones! Here’s some I recommend:

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10 Tips for Learning to Study in College 7 Best Snack Foods to Always Have on Hand 5 Tips to Get Fit in College
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The Complete Guide to Choosing a Planner Preparing for New Classes DIY Make Your Own Notebook or Planner Cover

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How Her Campus Changed my College Experience
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16 thoughts on “How Her Campus Changed my College Experience

    • July 15, 2015 at 11:58 am
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      Thank you! Aww that’s too bad you’re graduating so soon, but congrats on graduation! Glad you could be a part of Her Campus in some way πŸ™‚
      Dani recently posted…Dealing with Driving AnxietyMy Profile

      Reply
  • July 15, 2015 at 11:51 am
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    This is a fabulous post! Although I’m not yet in college, I just started looking into the application process for the Her Campus website. I’m already a part of the HCBN (and loving it), but I want to get more involved. This post tells me that starting and/or joining a pre-existing chapter is something that I will definitely do in college.
    xoxo
    Hannah
    http://frecklesandolives.blogspot.com/

    Reply
    • July 15, 2015 at 11:59 am
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      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚
      The HCBN is a great place to be, that’s how I heard of Her Campus to start.. so glad I did! I definitely recommend joining or starting the Her Campus chapter at your school, I can’t even imagine college without it now. If you have any questions feel free to reach out!
      Dani recently posted…How to: Touch Up MakeupMy Profile

      Reply
  • July 15, 2015 at 3:51 pm
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    I love being involved in Her Campus at Ohio State! I just joined last semester, but I’m excited to become more involved in the organization this fall. The chapter has allowed me to meet so many kind and compassionate people and also it is such a fun club to be a part of. I’m excited to become more involved and take on more club responsibilities!

    Colleen | Buckeye Bliss

    Reply
    • July 17, 2015 at 10:33 am
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      That’s awesome you’re a part of Her Campus at Ohio State! Congrats πŸ™‚ I’m glad you enjoy it, it really truly is a great thing to be a part of!
      Dani recently posted…6 Favorite Apps for College StudentsMy Profile

      Reply
  • July 16, 2015 at 5:35 am
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    Wow, I had no idea there was such a thing. But it sounds amazing! I love that it has gotten you involved and made your college experience exactly what you wanted it to be!

    Cat

    Reply
    • July 17, 2015 at 10:34 am
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      That’s exactly it, I love that I can use my Her Campus chapter to shape my college experience into anything I want it to be! Being in charge of my chapter allows me to mold the way we do things into what works best for me and my team, which is crazy helpful!
      Dani recently posted…6 Favorite Apps for College StudentsMy Profile

      Reply
  • July 16, 2015 at 4:41 pm
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    Can you elaborate more on trusting others as a leader? Steps you took to get them involved in what you were already doing and move tasks from you to them? I’m a FBLA chapter president at my high school and definitely need to work on this.
    Thanks,
    Elizabeth

    Reply
    • July 17, 2015 at 10:42 am
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      Hi Elizabeth! I’d love to go more in depth in this for you.
      I first realized that I needed to start depending more on my executive team (my Vice Presidents in this case) when I took a look at my Her Campus staff’s Facebook Group and realized that I was the only one who posted on there.. and it looked overwhelmingly ‘bossy’ which I didn’t want at all! This launched into me slowly asking my Vice Presidents through a chat that I had set up among all of us if one of them could post a reminder every Friday that all the articles that were being written are due at 7pm. Then I asked the other Vice President if she could post a reminder on Monday’s at 2pm reminding our member that we had our weekly chapter meeting in 2 hours.

      Taking this small step of delegating a simple task to them really allowed me to test if I could trust them with bigger tasks.. and it worked! They proved to be very reliable, and having other people post on the Facebook Group definitely got my girls more involved in the team and viewing it as a team instead of a job. From there I went out and gave my VP’s more tasks like posting to Instagram at certain times, then I branched out and began delegating to our social media teams and editors and such. Slowly everybody caught on and we’ve been growing stronger every since!

      This semester we are planning events which will take a lot of me stepping back and letting our Events Director handle things. It takes a lot of willpower to step back and let other’s step up.. but it definitely is worth it when you see the final product! It’s important to remember that what they have to say, ideas they come up with, and the way that they do things are different from yours.. and that’s what makes them good!
      Dani recently posted…Make Your Own Notebook or Planner CoverMy Profile

      Reply
  • July 16, 2015 at 6:43 pm
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    I’m a part of HCBN, and earlier this year, they asked me to open up a Her Campus chapter at my school, and while it sounds cool, I just knew I wouldn’t dedicate the time that I need to to make it successful. So glad you’ve enjoyed it!
    Laura recently posted…The Blog Post ProcessMy Profile

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    • July 17, 2015 at 10:36 am
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      That’s how I heard about it as well, through the HCBN! I did a lot of research before applying but it was definitely worth it to me. I agree, there’s a lot of time to be dedicated to it, but luckily I’m the kind of person who dives head first into huge projects like these and loves every second of it!
      I hope that if they start one up at your school you still get involved, even if you aren’t running it!
      Dani recently posted…6 Great Places to Eat in Los Angeles: Guest PostMy Profile

      Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 9:52 pm
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    Congratulations on your launch! Launching our chapter at the University of Wisconsin – Stout changed my life and I’m so happy to see how much it has impacted others as well. We had a similar start as you guys and I can promise you that it’ll keep growing and growing. We just passed our chapter on to the 2nd set of CCs and it’s heartbreaking to have to give up my role as a CC but it’s exciting to see where it’s going to go next. Cheers to you guys πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • August 13, 2015 at 10:06 pm
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    Congratulations on all your success! This is truly inspiring, especially since I would like to start a chapter at my school. I’ve had slight journalism experience–I was the newspaper editor, and I was on yearbook staff at my high school. Now I’m majoring in business management. Since I’m an incoming freshman, and don’t really know the ropes of the school yet, I kind of feel like I should put it off–at least until next semester. Next year at the very latest. Just imagining it actually happening excites me beyond measures! Even though I don’t know where to start! Haha. But your article definitely gave me inspiration. Hopefully we”l have one started by next year!

    Reply

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