Which societies should you join? Part II
Summary of ‘part I’ post in case you missed it:
 Join a mainstream society: larger, more well-known societies on campus where you have more chance of meeting a variety of different people and of getting involved in large-scale events that can become highlights of your university experience. I spoke about the Warwick Finance Societies and will discuss three other examples below.
 Join a niche society: Although there are no formal classifications, I class niche societies as being smaller and focused on one specific skill or hobby. You are likely to find like-minded people here.
Most importantly, I don’t think it is ever too late to join a society, you don’t need to be part of the exec to get involved, and more than anything, you should experiment wide and speak to as many people as you can to seek societies aligned with your most genuine interests.
Firstly, as promised, here are three other mainstream societies aside from Warwick Finance Societies:
Warwick Economics Summit is a real hallmark of Warwick, attracting famous speakers from financial markets to Nobel Laureates. They host one major event a year, alongside smaller events in preparation for the major summit. Pre-Covid (and perhaps next year), the major event would also include a ball.
Warwick Consulting Society is another very strong society at the university, and the thing I like most about them is that they provide actual consulting to companies. Not only does the consulting work give you practical experience and enhances business acumen, but you’re also more likely to find people from a wide range of subjects and backgrounds due to the nature of consulting.
TEDx at Warwick is very well known at the university, connecting people from different subject backgrounds and diverse interests. The society organises several student salons (where about three students get to give a TED talk) and a major event in term 2, among other activities. I was fortunate to deliver a TED talk in my first year and the high-level of organisation from the society made an impression on me – from the camera crew to the team supporting speakers, the society has a lot of talent.
There are many I missed e.g. Warwick Enactus and Warwick Economics Society, Raising and Giving and Warwick Kickstart just to name a few, so even more important than trying out all of these, speak to people. Ask others what societies they would recommend joining, and connect with people in those societies, go to their events and ask questions. In my opinion, the best part about Warwick or any other university is not the societies, or the buildings, or the course material, but the people you meet, learn from and share experiences with.
Joining a more niche society:
As well as the Warwick Finance Society, I joined the Warwick Debating Society (WDS) and was part of this for two years, serving as publicity officer in 2 year where I led marketing, revamping the website and logo (the roles you serve don’t have to be specific to that skill).
We would meet twice a week for training sessions which would involve about a 1 hr training session and a 1hr British Parliamentary style debate. Due to there only being about 20 people per training session, you were much more likely to know everyone from the exec and going to the pub for a meal after each session further strengthened the close bonds in the society.
Two highlights of my time in WDS were going to Manchester University and Imperial College London to judge competitions (not just about speaking, you can also judge debates).
I believe that niche societies like this allow you to seek more authenticity in what you do – not that you can’t develop this in one or more mainstream societies, but it is usually easier to do so in a focused niche.
Other niche societies I’d try out if I was starting again (although examples are tough for niche societies since they should be based on your unique interests):
Film Product Society: developing skills that can support a future side project of yours can be very useful.
The Gliding Society: I missed the opportunity to try out a free Gliding session in my first year due to fear of heights (where they sling you up into the air in a glider with an instructor), and this is something I regret since university is one of the only places, you’ll get to experience activities like this.
Warwick Game Design: links with the point above about finding niche interests that match a specific skill potentially channelling into a future hobby.
Graphic Design and Marketing Society (not listed on SU): graphic design and marketing skills are a core element of many Warwick Societies, entrepreneurial endeavours and full-time jobs, but it is something severely lacking at Warwick. Finding something that is enjoyable and at the same time valuable to many people can be worthwhile in my opinion. GDMS are usually scouted by other societies for freelance work or to join their own exec – a very valuable position to be in!