Why Students Are Important to APPAM
September 18, 2014 09:00 AM
Did you know that student members make up nearly half of APPAM’s active membership? This means that if you’re a student, you’re a critical part of the Association and essential to its future. In today’s high-paced and competitive world, it’s important that APPAM have a great membership core of young professionals who are shaping the future of public policy research and analysis. Part of the organization’s strategic plan specifically addresses increasing student involvement and opening up more opportunities for you to participate in Association events and governance, such as the Fall Research Conference, various committees, and representation on the Policy Council.
Of course, there are tangible benefits for being an APPAM student member. The networking opportunities alone are invaluable; as a fledgling professional, you are connected to a group of professionals dedicated to improving public policy and management through excellence in research, analysis, and education. This is a resource of peers that provides you a wealth of knowledge, mentorship possibilities, and even job and research opportunities. The diversity of our membership ensures that you can find answers to your career, education, and professional questions.
But what about the intangible benefits that exist beyond the listed perks? Being a member of APPAM is not like subscribing to a magazine; it’s an active career choice. Part of what it means to be a professional today is joining a professional organization. By participating in APPAM, you are expanding your professional knowledge base with experiences that can’t be found in graduate school or on a college campus. You’re opening up avenues of opportunity that can help you launch your career in public policy, analysis, or research in the best way possible.
As a member, you’re also part of a special community. The APPAM public policy and research community is exceptionally diverse in its areas of expertise, as well as through its affiliated organizations and institutions. What binds our members together is a common passion for public policy, research, and analysis. This, in turn, attracts the highest quality research on a wide variety of important and emerging policy issues, fostering cross-disciplinary interaction and collaborations.
APPAM is more than just a networking group of policy professionals, however. The Association is a self-governing body, where all members have a voice. Important decisions, such as APPAM’s Strategic Plan, that concerns the membership body or the organization as a whole, involves everyone. Our system of regulation depends on our members getting involved and contributing; without participation, this self-regulation is not effective.
Participating in APPAM in any fashion provides you the opportunity to shape the future of the organization, but more importantly, the future of the profession. There are leadership and collaboration opportunities galore, if you look for them. Many of APPAM’s student members have developed new skills and increased their self-confidence through their participation.
You, as a student member, play an additional role that few others can play. You represent an important source of energy and ideas; you are the voice of the Association’s future. Today’s professional associations know that it’s essential that the voice of students be heard. As such, students are important stakeholders within APPAM, keeping it vibrant and progressive.
Yes, as a student, there are the more obvious reasons for joining APPAM, and it is more than worthwhile to join just for those reasons. But consider the other reasons that may be just as important, if not obvious. There are great benefits in joining earlier rather than later. By joining as a student, one gets a head start on all of the above.