Application to Join the Graduate Professional Senate

Why join the Graduate Professional Student Senate (GPSS)


As a graduate student, we often find ourselves extremely busy between juggling classes, work, homework, and a range of other commitments. Many students ask with all these requirements to balance in their daily lives, "Why would anyone add something else to the list by joining a Student Government Association (SGA)?" We at the GPSS feel there are numerous reasons why students should get involved.

1. You will learn more about yourself and who you are.

Joining the SGA will open a wide range of opportunities to learn more about who you are, your goals, and your strengths. You will have the ability to learn from other students who are in the SGA and how they handle multiple situations at the student government level and also how they balance it all. You will learn how to multitask, organize, create and generate new ideas in a group setting, and have the ability to make effective change.

2. You will develop soft skills needed in the real world.

Soft skills are essentially people skills, and they assist you with working in a group setting, which is what the SGA is all about, working together in and as a team. Soft skills are skills employers look for in future employees and consist of communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, creativity, work ethic, and time management.

3. You will learn how to work with and as a team.

Teamwork is critical in the SGA and working together through collaboration and consensus is needed, not only in the SGA but also in any career. Learning to be a team player will require you to work with others, get their advice, seek outside advice, as well as give your own advice, and make decisions based on a collaborated effort.

4. You will have networking opportunities.

Networking is the heartbeat of the SGA. Meeting other SGA members, faculty, staff, and students will help you make connections during your time at VCU and well after you graduate.

5. You will be able to use the skills you learned in class.

No matter what your major is, you will be able to use what you learned in the classroom and apply it to the SGA through programs, committees, and even community outreach.

6. You will learn how to engage with diverse groups of people.

Working in the SGA will give you the chance to work with a multitude of diverse people and groups – exactly what you will face when you work in the real world. Seeing and learning how different people react and respond to varying situations will assist you in developing your skills in implementing and presenting ideas.

7. You will learn leadership skills.

Developing leadership skills is invaluable in all areas of life and future employers will seek students who have experience in leadership. The SGA will present and give students the opportunities to gain confidence in themselves through multiple chances to lead different committees and projects, helping you to develop and refine those leadership skills.

8. You will expand your resume.

A student's participation the SGA is an exceptional addition to a resume, showing potential employers that you were a member of and participated in a student organization will demonstrate that you are hardworking, passionate, and can handle and balance multiple responsibilities.