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