Build lasting connections with a common purpose

Joining a student organization is a valuable way to connect with like-minded individuals and explore your interests in ways that can benefit you both personally and professionally.


Student spotlight: Jessica Viale

Jessica Viale came to Ann Arbor from Newport Beach, California, to achieve her goal of becoming a nurse at the University of Michigan. Joining a student organization has helped Jessica feel at home thousands of miles away while opening the door to exciting and unexpected opportunities. Now, as president of the Nursing Student Government (NSG), she wants other students to know how student organizations can connect you with those who share your interests and ambitions.

“When I went into Michigan, I didn’t know a single person, so I knew I wanted to get involved and meet people,” Jessica remembers. “I found out about the Nursing Student Government, and I ran to be a field representative. I was drawn to how nice everybody was, and connecting with a smaller community was really helpful.”

“Nursing school pushed me to places I didn't know I could reach. But after leaving the Cleveland Clinic this summer, I realized just how much I've learned at the School of Nursing.”Throughout the academic year, the NSG works to familiarize first-year students with the ins and outs of the BSN program, advocate for student priorities at the administrative level, and coordinate wellness events like the biannual Pancake Breakfast.

“Providing new students with the resources they need to be able to adapt is one of our main goals. We really focus on advocating for students but also reinforcing wellness and mental health to make sure nursing students are taken care of.”

Joining the NSG also helped Jessica connect with more experienced students, including BSN alumni who are now pursuing graduate degrees at the School of Nursing. As Jessica explains, their insight and mentorship have helped her prepare for her professional future.

“Getting in touch with older students has been such a critical part of my journey at the School of Nursing. They’ve shared suggestions, study tools and things they found helpful. They have already been through it, so having someone to mentor me throughout the whole process that was pivotal.”

Because of her involvement in NSG, Jessica found out about an internship opportunity at the Cleveland Clinic last summer, where her experiences in U-M’s BSN program provided a distinct advantage.

“When I went into the clinical setting at the Cleveland Clinic, they were teaching us how to do things like read an electrocardiogram strip, analyze heart murmurs and other heart-related skills, but we had learned those things our sophomore year! So I think that just speaks to how well the School of Nursing prepares you.”

From Greek life to intramural sports and much more, there are plenty of ways to get involved on campus. Explore the more than 1,000 student-run organizations at U-M.

Ready to become a Michigan Nurse? Learn about your next steps →