How to Make the Best of Your HOSA Experience
There are two ways to get become involved in HOSA, through a career center or through project lead the way, biomedical science classes. Personally, I got involved in HOSA through the PLTW, so I will predominantly be focusing on the PLTW HOSA experience because I have more experience with it. HOSA is structured a little differently in schools that utilize biomedical science classes because it is hard to implement into the curriculum. As a result of this, HOSA is typically more of an after-school activity, so the responsibility of preparing for HOSA competitions is placed on the students. This can seem like a lot, especially when it is your first year in HOSA, so it is important to know how to best navigate the HOSA Path. Here are 5 things you should do to make the best out of your HOSA Experience:
Research. HOSA is so much more than just an after-school activity, it is important that you get to know all the things that are attached to being a member of HOSA. I cannot stress how important having general knowledge of HOSA is to your experience. Knowing what is available to you in the organization, can help you narrow down how you want to get involved. HOSA offers a range of awards, scholarships, and learning opportunities available to its member, therefore I urge you to find out everything you can about HOSA. A way to do this is by exploring hosa.org and indianahosa.org.
Participate. I know this may seem obvious, but actively trying to be involved in HOSA-led activities in and out of school, will set you apart from other members. Participating is not exclusive to competing in events, engagement can take form in assisting to plan an event for HOSA, participating in a discussion about matters relating to your chapters, and showing that you want to be a part of your chapter’s growth. Another great way to get involved in volunteering, HOSA even recognizes members who have shown great humanitarianism through awards like the Barbara James Service Awards.
Study. This is specifically for competitive events… GET TO KNOW YOUR GUIDELINES. Guidelines can be found on the HOSA website. They will tell you everything you need to know about your event, from a general overview of the event to a rubric on how you will be judged. Also included in the guidelines is a list of study materials, do not treat these as if they are optional, they are there for YOUR benefit. I understand that some of the books can be a little expensive, I recommend you reach out to teachers to see if they have a copy you can borrow, before you buy. If you aren’t able to borrow a copy, try to buy a used copy of the book or potentially an older edition of the book. These books can be a lot of information to take in, I personally like to break them into sections and turn them into flashcards or a Quizlet.
Network. HOSA tries to showcase many different businesses, organizations, and colleges, at their conferences, this is an extremely great networking opportunity. In between events, workshops, and symposiums, stop by a booth and get to know the presenters, maybe even pick up a business card or two. Making connections within the healthcare field might open more doors for you in the future, whether in the form of an internship, a job opportunity, or even a potential scholarship. It is important to remember that networking isn’t limited to booths at conferences, but you can also network with other chapters. Getting to know members of other local chapters, can start a line of communication between your two chapters. This can spark more collaboration between chapters, unifying Indiana HOSA as a whole.
Ask Questions. Never be scared to ask questions, HOSA is a place for learning and growth. If you have a question about an event or scholarship, simply ask. Your chapter advisors and state officer team are always here to help. There is no such thing as a bad question and you never know until you ask.
I really hope that you utilize these tips, because I know I would have loved to have this knowledge in my first year in HOSA. I remember being a 13-year-old freshman at my first-ever state leadership conference, and not being able to fully enjoy the experience because I was so intimidated by all the people and scared of making a fool out of myself. Now I have been HOSA for 4 years and although it is still a little intimidating, I feel so much more confident because I have gained so much knowledge from the organization. The knowledge that I am excited to share with anyone who wants to hear so feel free to email me if you have any questions. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org .