September 22, 2020 / Gouhar Nayeem

How to Make the Most of Student Membership

AIHA student sections allow members access to resources and opportunities that can help them get a better start to their IH/OEHS careers. With leadership, engagement, and career opportunities available to you, now is the perfect time to make the most of being a student member with AIHA, and we’re here to help you get started.

Leadership and Engagement Opportunities

Joining any one of AIHA’s 25 student local sections is the first step toward becoming a leader in AIHA and the IH/OEHS profession. The two highest ranking officers in each section—the president and president-elect—get seats on the Student Local Sections Council, which promotes the efficiency of AIHA student local sections and can be a steppingstone to further leadership in the association.

For further engagement opportunities in your areas of interest, AIHA also has over 57 volunteer groups, covering over 103 bodies of work, in which you may join and participate as members. Our volunteers’ output is prodigious: they were able to publish the 26 Back to Work Safely guidance documents featured on our COVID-19 Resource page in this past year alone. For further information on volunteering and how to participate, check out SyngeristNOW blog post “Five Ways to be a Great Volunteer.

If you haven’t attended AIHce EXP before, virtually or in person, then perhaps 2021 is your year to start. AIHA sponsors up to five members who are students or early career professionals and apply by the beginning of the year to attend the conference. Once you have decided to go, you may want to promote your research and ideas by speaking or displaying a poster, demonstrating your expertise and drawing professional attention to you, your mentor, and your institution.

Stay connected with your student local sections, volunteer groups, and contacts made at AIHce EXP using the Catalyst app, AIHA’s online member center. Catalyst is a great place to post about and read other members’ posts on topics affecting the profession.

Educational and Career Opportunities

Investing in your professional development begins with a visit to CareerAdvantage, a service offered to all AIHA members. For students, this service may be useful in your career search. You can view internships and job opportunities on the job board, pick up tips for successful job interviews, and receive career coaching. Confused about which direction your professional development should take? Check out the IH Professional Pathway, which provides valuable resources and tools to help you get to the next stage of your career.

There are also a few courses available for those starting out in the field:

  • Basic Principles of Occupational Hygiene provides an introduction to the discipline’s broad principles as the base for anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, and controlling hazards that can be encountered in the workplace.
  • Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene provides exposure to the broad field of industrial hygiene through sampling and workshop sessions, demo sessions, and problem-solving exercises over the course of 5 days.

AIHA’s Marketplace is also a resource for students looking for publications to use to expedite their career development.

Students are the future of the profession, and AIHA provides the resources you need to help you grow professionally, find a career, and acquire sought-after skills. Take for example Jacob Shedd, a PhD candidate at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an AIHA member since 2017. In this video, he speaks about the importance and benefits of his involvement with AIHA from the beginning of his career as a student. Joining his student local section has helped him get involved in the profession and establish himself among his peers in preparation for the workforce.

Not a member? It's easy to join, and a year’s student membership costs only $32. Have friends that haven’t yet joined? Share this blog with them or let them know how they can join too.

Gouhar Nayeem

Gouhar Nayeem is AIHA’s membership marketing specialist.


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