Ask our ambassadors: How to get involved in campus clubs

As a new student in Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences, you will have the opportunity to pursue any of your diverse interests with guidance from world renowned professors over the next four years. Across campus, there are hundreds of extracurricular activities you can get involved in, ranging from Cornell Kung Fu club to some of the most selective pre-professional clubs in America.

As a sophomore studying economics in the College of Arts & Sciences, I am the head of the Financial Institutions Group within Alpha Fund, the treasurer of the Cornell Santos Club Soccer Team, a research assistant with the Cornell Tech Policy Lab and I am involved in a few other programs on campus as well.

The goal of this article is to prepare you for one of the more stressful aspects of being a Cornell student: club recruitment, but hopefully, after reading this blog, you will feel better prepared to pursue and succeed in your specific club recruitment cycle.

I recruited for Cornell Alpha Fund the second semester of my first year as a student at Cornell, and I remember that there are a few tips that would have made my recruitment cycle a whole lot easier than I made it out to be. Cornell Alpha Fund is one of the premier finance clubs at our university, and it has an acceptance rate similar to that of Cornell itself.

My first piece of advice would be to educate yourself around the purpose of the club. In the case of Alpha Fund, you should understand why you are interested in the financial services industry and begin to educate yourself regarding major contemporary events surrounding it. Next, a basic understanding of useful skills in the industry would be beneficial. For instance, understand what the three major financial statements are and understand what they represent. Beyond that, you will just need to lock down your motivations behind joining the club and be able to present them effectively. If you have any prior experiences in the industry, make sure to emphasize those as well.

While this advice may seem like it's only relevant to Alpha Fund, it applies to every single club you will apply to. If you have concrete reasons as to why you are interested in joining the club and understand the most basic levels of technical skills required for participating in the club, you will be ahead of 90% of your peers.

Finally, if you network, you will be ahead of 99% of them. Reach out to anyone you may know from high school in the club, ask your friends to recommend club members they have spoken to, or email the club email on their website and ask for a coffee chat, and you will be miles ahead of the rest of the pack. Try to do at least three coffee chats with club members, and they will remember you come recruitment time.

I hope this provided some insight into the club recruitment process at Cornell, and that you feel a bit more prepared as you embark upon the exciting and rewarding journey of recruiting for extracurricular clubs at Cornell. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to reach out to me at

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