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Energy Coalition Spotlight: Co-Vice Chairs of Student Organization Relations Efforts to Grow Member Organizations By Janet Miranda

ec-mckinsey-web.jpgAs we start another semester the Energy Coalition (EC) board, the largest organization on campus with over 8,000 students working across six colleges and over 30 majors, gets ready to touch base with prospective organizations.

That’s objective falls to the three Co-Vice Chairs of Student Organization Relations who serve the EC in strengthening collaboration and communication with current and prospective student organizations. Seong Choi, a management information systems student; Mark Enriquez, an economics student; and Rafael Hey, a mechanical engineer student; make up part of the 17 student board members.

Choi and Enriquez say their main objective is to build relationships with their peers to introduce them to what the EC has to offer. The Energy Coalition works as an umbrella organization to encourage multidisciplinary collaboration and communication between the student organizations on campus.

“The most important thing when securing a partnership with a student organization is building a relationship with the officers. The approach that we take is to meet the student officers at events that they host or knocking on their doors and introducing ourselves,” said Choi.

For the interested student organizations, the vetting process is simple.

“Any organization that wants to be part of the Energy Coalition can become one of our member organizations. Even though the EC has recruited many student organizations in Bauer College of Business or Cullen College of Engineering, we want a mix of everything. At the end of the day the energy industry is a mix of a lot of different specialties,” Enriquez said.

Both Choi and Enriquez agree that to increase student engagement with a prospective partner organization requires building a strong relationship with its members to demonstrate the benefits the EC can offer. They hope to inspire commitment from prospective student organization leaders based on common goals, the added benefits are just a bonus.

“Every semester is a new board, so when a new board comes in there might be different goals they want to accomplish. So, it’s really focusing on showing curiosity, and asking questions to understand what their needs are,” said Choi.

Enriquez describes another facet of his role as liaison between corporate relation officers and corporate leaders, providing for the professional and networking needs of member organizations who feel they are lacking in that department.

This way member organizations get to benefit from being part of the EC, and prospective student organizations can learn of the networking benefit that the largest organization on campus provides.

Choi and Enriquez emphasize their efforts as centralized on what the prospective organization wants to accomplish and the needs of student member body, taking those elements to see how the EC fits into the picture.

“If they want to join it’s as simple as sending us their mailing list, that way we can let their members know about what events we have going on,” Enriquez said. “If they give us their events, we can send their events out to the rest of the campus. For some organizations, this is incredibly important since they are looking to connect. Once you have that, you can collaborate without clashing.”