F.I.R.E. Club creates networking


Students looking to network and start establishing themselves with professionals in the financial, insurance or real estate industries need to look no further than The Society of F.I.R.E. – a club that can kindle anyone’s professional aspirations and help spread their network of contacts.

This club, which has been on campus for two years in November, is specifically focused on casual networking rather than strictly formal meetings, according to co-founder and current president Destinie Marshall.

“We found out about the club at the economics kickoff event, and our business advisor spoke about it and we met to decide to start it, none of us [founders] knew each other initially … It’s one of the fastest growing clubs because we’re very involved with our members and we want people to feel comfortable talking to businesses,” Marshall said.

The club meetings usually consist of a speaker from any of the three categories the club associates with – finance, insurance or real estate – followed by conversation with the speaker and getting to ask questions about the industry or business the members want to know more about.

“Not only do we learn from their presentations, but we get to interact and speak with them as well. We learn about opportunities for ourselves in their field of work, ask lots of questions and leave the meeting with a new business contact every time,” said club member and sophomore agriculture and resource economics major Ridge Sandal.

On top of networking, students with majors pertaining directly to the club’s focus can find valuable contacts for future employment or internships at the meetings.

“F.I.R.E Club has helped multiple students get jobs and internships,” Marshall said. “We hold an event every year called Ignite and students are able to talk to employers; multiple people have had interviews with employers because we create close connections with partnering businesses.”

However, not all of the members of The Society of F.I.R.E have relevant majors – in fact, the club goes as far as to encourage students who have outside majors to participate in meetings and simply learn more about what the speakers have to offer.

“All majors apply. The way I see it, everyone is going to do something related to F.I.R.E. Club at some point in their life,” Marshall said. “It attracts all majors within the Economics Department, and we’re working on attracting consumer affair majors along with the Department of Ag and Bio for the Ag and Business majors.”

Members agree that it is not a closed community, but rather they are the opposite and enjoy having a variety of majors to contribute.

“You don’t have to be in a specific major to learn something at our meetings; the door is open to all. If you’re interested, stop by and check us out sometime; you might be glad you did,” Sandal said.

The club recently had a record high meeting attendance of 30 students during the kickoff at the beginning of the year, but, contrary to that large number, club members aim for a smaller crowd that contributes to more conversation among members and a less ceremonial style of meeting.

“We like our meetings to be more casual rather than having speaking at you; we like to have students get involved in the conversation,” Marshall said.

Members and club officials strongly urge students to try the club out even if they are mildly interested in one of the categories they offer.

  “As a freshman college student, I was looking to gain some insight into the real estate world and didn’t know quite where to go. Fortunately, my advisor recommended F.I.R.E. Club,” Sandal said. “One meeting was all it took for me to realize F.I.R.E. Club is where I wanted to be.”

The F.I.R.E. Club meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month.