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Top organizations for business students - networking & benefits

Should you join professional business organizations as a business student?

It may be tempting to save networking for after you get your degree, but that might not be the wisest course of action. Professional business organizations usually consist of networkers, educators and mentors who can provide students with additional tools and skills they didn't learn in the classroom.

Professional associations help their members become better professionals by providing them with opportunities to build strong networks, increase their knowledge base with continued education, practice interview techniques through mock interviews and more. They offer, in other words, a diverse range of benefits you can start reaping sooner rather than later.

Benefits of joining a professional organization as a student

The best part about joining a business association is the insight that many students seeking business degrees find helpful when looking to enhance their careers.

For example, joining a professional business organization may offer such advantages as:

  • Networking opportunities: Joining a business organization means access to its network. Business organizations offer their members the chance to meet and connect with other business professionals who can help one another in their careers. Students seeking a Master of Business Administration may find this helpful when preparing for a job search.
  • Mentorship: Professional business associations provide mentors who are established professionals. These mentors can help students navigate the business world while offering guidance on success.
  • Career resources: Business organizations often provide business students with industry resources that can help them enhance their careers after business school. For example, business organizations might provide students with business opportunities and access to job postings and potential business contacts.
  • Education and training: Organizations provide their members with access to continued education and training programs, which may be valuable and instructive for students enrolled in business degree programs. These opportunities help business students stay up to date on business trends and learn how to conduct business properly.
  • Membership discounts: Business organizations often offer student members discounts on products and services.
  • Scholarships and internships: Many business organizations offer scholarships and internships to business students. Scholarships are often available to students who wish to enter a specific career or professionals who want to enhance their careers.
  • Professional and personal skills: Business students learn to develop their professional and personal skills. These skills can include public speaking, operations management, time management and so on. Those with a B.S. in Business with an Operations Management Certificate or those seeking a B.S. in Management degree may find this especially useful for future job positions.
  • Leadership skills: Joining a business organization can help students develop leadership skills. Students have the opportunity to hold positions of authority and learn how to lead others.

When choosing a business organization to join, it’s important to consider the organization’s business degree requirements and how the association can benefit you. 

Discover business degrees for every interest at University of Phoenix!

Examples of professional business organizations

From marketing to finance, the different business organizations out there can attract students of virtually any persuasion. The five examples below offer a sampling of such organizations that business students may find beneficial. 

American Business Association

The American Business Association (ABA) is a nonprofit organization that works to meet the objectives and demands of small firms, self-employed people, independent contractors and entrepreneurs.

Objectively speaking, it’s fairly easy to join the ABA. Fill out an application, and a representative will contact you.

Overall, the organization provides professional, lifestyle and health-related benefits, and advocacy opportunities so members have a voice on issues that potentially impact their success. 

American Marketing Association

The American Marketing Association (AMA) is a business organization designed to promote business ethics and standards. Its mission is to advance the understanding, study, practice and ethical development of marketing worldwide.

To become an AMA member, you must have a business degree or be interested in business. The AMA counts business students, business professionals and business organizations among its members. In addition, it provides many benefits such as job boards, training, tool kits and more. 

Future Business Leaders of America–Phi Beta Lambda

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) is the world’s largest business career and technical student organization. Its mission is to help students become globally aware business executives by providing relevant career education and leadership opportunities.

Individuals can join FBLA-PBL via direct membership. If you attend a school without an existing PBL club, this is the perfect opportunity to participate in events and network with other students.

FBLA-PBL helps business students develop their business skills and offers opportunities for scholarships and competitions. It also has a job board and provides mentors and business resource access.  

Beta Alpha Psi

Beta Alpha Psi is an international honor and service organization geared toward financial and business information students as well as industry professionals. Its goal is to help shape, inspire and support its members into ethical and professional leaders.

Among the organization’s eligibility criteria is a degree specification: A student must have an accounting, finance, business analysis or digital technology concentration at a chapter university to join this group.

The organization offers students various services, including professional development and advocacy skills. 

Wondering what you can do with a business degree? Learn about career paths and more in our blog article!

Tips for finding professional organizations

Now that you know a little more about professional business organizations, it's time to find one that fits your interests. Here’s where to start:

  • Talk to your campus career advisor. A career advisor or your campus career center will help you find business organizations that match your skills and interests. Additionally, they’re the perfect people to talk to if you’re unsure how to ask for career advice.
  • Research business associations online. Although this may seem self-explanatory, it isn’t necessarily easy. There are all types of business associations and student organizations online. Look for one that fits your interest or business major.
  • Stick to the business associations that have been around for a while. This suggests the business association meets a high level of professionalism. Older associations are also likely to have bigger networks for you to connect with!
  • Attend business organization events. This is one of the best ways to get firsthand experience of the business association. Events can range from business panel discussions to social events.

Overall, there are several ways to find the right business organization for you. The most important thing is to do your research, ask around and attend events. This will help you make the best decision for your business career. 

Tips for joining professional organizations

Once you’ve decided on a business association to join, there are several ways to do so. The first step is usually to fill out an application and pay any necessary dues. Aside from these basics, there are a few more things to consider if you want to join a professional organization.

  • Keep an open mind. If you’re not sure which business association is right for you, try attending events and conferences hosted by various business associations to learn more about them.
  • Take notes. Write down key points during business association events or meetings.
  • Do your research ahead of time. Verify the professionalism and credibility of a business association beforehand. This may include researching the organization’s code of conduct, ethics and grievance process.
  • Ask questions. If you're unsure about something, ask the business association members for more details.

By doing your research and following these tips, you’re on your way to joining a business association that might help you in your career!