Have you ever wondered what kind of clubs a Computer Science major should join? At Tufts, Econ majors have the economics club. International Relations majors have Model UN. Engineering Students have the Robotics Club... But what clubs are catered for Computer Science at Tufts? And more importantly, how do you distinguish the good ones from the bad ones?
At our number one spot is JumboCode. There are so many great things I can say about this club. Essentially, students are selected to be on a team of 5-10 people to complete a specific project. Over the summer, the JumboCode E-Board looks for clients who need apps/websites to be created or need help with digital marketing. As students, we work on a project for those clients during either one or two semesters. The teams meet once a week for "Hack Night" and work on the project during the week.
There are multiple reasons why this is a fantastic club. Not only are the members doing a great job of giving back to the community, but they are also refining their Computer Science skills. You have the choice (if you are selected) to work on any project you want, whether it be app development or web development. This is also a great way to realize what it is you actually love about coding.
Finally, BEGINNERS ARE ENCOURAGED! I was a beginner when I first joined the club and I really, really enjoyed it!
I give this club an 8/10 rating for fun. This is mostly because you get to code things you want to code and because it's an incredibly friendly environment. The unfortunate part is that you have to do a bit of work over the week, but really, if you are doing something you love, it shouldn't be a problem.
I give this club a 9/10 rating for resume. Seriously. You are developing projects (which looks incredible on your resume) and you are doing it for the community. That's like two in one! This is a great club to add on to your resume, especially if you can become a project lead. It also helps answer behavioral questions like, "Tell me about a time where you coded with a partner..."
2. WICS (Women In Computer Science)
Wow. I personally don't identify as female but this looks and IS awesome. I find it great that Tufts has a Computer Science club dedicated to a minority in the field. Let's face it. Computer Science needs more women. WICS holds "office hours" every week so that women at Tufts can come together and talk, do homework and code!
Moreover, they provide advice on how to launch your career in CS and help you get connections with other women in the field! Lastly, a couple months ago, WICS had their first Women In Tech conference. This event provided workshops such as "Introduction to Programming" or "The Life of an Amazon Job." It also provided a career fair with sponsors such as Google, DropBox, Github and many other well-known companies. This event was a big success and helped many women at Tufts and outside of Tufts build a network. I personally believe that this club is doing all the right things for women in technology and think that it is one of the best clubs at Tufts University in the Computer Science department.
I'm personally not part of WICS so I can't really rate the fun aspect of the club. However, I give this club a 7/10 rating for resume. The reason this club isn't as great for a resume as JumboCode is because you could just show up and potentially not learn anything. Unless you are part of the board or have a meaningful role in the club, just being part of it doesn't tell your employer anything. It's great that you joined the Women in CS club, but what did you do with it?
3. Computer Science Exchange (CSX)
CSX is a club that promotes Computer Science education at Tufts. They organize really cool things like Hackathons! They usually host two per year, Polyhack in the fall and this year, IDHack in the spring. This group is similar to WICS in that they hold meetings every week so that students in CS can discuss trends or help each other. Moreover, they host tech-talks where they have Computer Scientists, alumni, professors or current students talk about their coding life and sometimes talk about a specific topic in CS. Once again, this club is amazing because it provides a space for students to discuss Computer Science and for like-minded individuals to meet.
I give this club a 7/10 rating for fun. Although most events that they hold are very fun, the club itself and the weekly meetings aren't really that designated for fun. I personally believe that CSX is more of a platform to be able to meet students in CS and to be able to talk about Computer Science whenever I feel like it.
I give this club a 7/10 rating for resume. Similarly to WiCS, simply being a member of this club isn't going to get you very far. A spot on the e-board of the leading Computer Science group at Tufts is definitely something that highlights your involvement in CS. However, the events that they organize such as hackathons or even giving a talk are very highly regarded. They are also very good tools at answering behavioral questions such as: "Give me an example of when you led a project."
Hopefully this article inspired my fellow Jumbos to join some Computer Science clubs or motivated other students to create their own clubs in their respective universities! Computer Science is becoming the new world and it's becoming more and more important that students be involved in technology!
Lead Image Credit: Unsplash