By Cindy Aitken
Senior Manager, Community Engagement at American Public University System
There are extraordinary people in this world–working fathers and mothers, leaders and mentors–seeking to be part of something bigger. And many choose to join an extraordinary community of learners online in order to move their lives and the world forward. Balancing your lifelong goals with your work and family responsibilities means exploring every possibility, and online education provides an ideal solution for thousands of working adults worldwide. And while you’re using your computer or mobile device to interact daily in the virtual classroom, the fact is, the online learning model and feeling like you’re part of a tangible community aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, when you join a quality online university, you engage a community of learners that may include your professor down the street to a classmate from down under.
With online learning, you can open up your world to a diversity of thought, fresh industry vantage points, and unique online friendships that you may never have expected. And while you can cast a wider online network of peers with similar career and academic goals, universities like American Military University and American Public University are going the extra mile to create fun and lively community events to bring students, alumni, faculty and staff closer together.
Is a Community Event Coming to Your Area?
The university hosts numerous events across the country each year, including networking receptions, service opportunities, sporting events, race events, and more. Visit our calendar of events, to register to attend or request more information, and to see a video of highlights from past events.
It’s truly an eye-opening experience to have the chance to put a name to a face of a classmate, or meeting a professor in person, or talking with a University Ambassador. It only takes minute to realize that you’ve always been part of a supportive community. And what’s even more reassuring is that the people attending the community events are enthusiastic about sharing their personal insights about class experiences, and career tips and trends, just as much as they are about sharing stories about their jobs, hobbies, or their families. While there’s abundant conversation with people you know, community events are great for forging new relationships because attendees are open to meeting new people because they’re all bound by a common thread–the university. There are many other reasons too, but here are the top 3 reasons why you should participate in your university’s community event when one is hosted in your region:
1. Networking Opportunities
Whether you’re looking to transition into a new career field or you’re experienced and seeking a promotion in private industry or a government agency, networking still remains one of the most effective ways to land a job.
2. Quick Mentorship
University-sponsored events tend to draw a mix of students and alumni, but also faculty and staff. And with online learning, many faculty members are leaders working in the fields they teach. The events offer a quick and informal opportunity to bounce ideas off highly experienced professionals and to seek advice on everything from research topics to career discussions.
3. Professional & Social Networks
From Golden Key International Honour Society to Masters of Disaster, many event participants are actively involved with student professional organizations and participate in university social networks. What better way to connect the prospect of being part of a university-sponsored organization or social network than to ask questions face-to-face with other members?
Lastly, the most important reason is that the events are just plain fun. After spending many of your hours working and learning on your computer or mobile device emailing, posting on discussion boards, and completing assignments–it’s good to know that there are people just like you in your area who share a special bond. And they’d be happy to meet you in person.
For a better view of our community events at APUS watch our highlights video below.