Extracurricular involvement gives Denison students many opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom, and in the case of Paige Robnett ’14, even land a job.
As a Denison student, Robnett was an active member of Denison’s American Association for University Women (AAUW) student organization. Today, she is a senior program associate in the Campus Leadership Programs Department at the same national organization, which is dedicated to advancing and supporting women.
In 2013, when Denison’s AAUW chapter was established, Robnett, a women’s studies and communication double major from the Detroit area, saw how the organization aligned with her personal passions. And she felt compelled to join.
As the activism director for the student organization, Robnett recruited members and organized the first Equal Pay Rally, an event designed to increase awareness of differences between men’s and women’s compensation.
After graduation, Robnett began working near her home, but she wanted to incorporate her women’s studies background into her work. “I missed using the word ‘intersectionality’ on a daily basis,” she said.
As part of her campaign to find new employment, Robnett actively engaged with the AAUW on social media. She successfully landed a position as the organization’s public policy intern, before being hired full-time.
“Internships give young professionals a taste of an organization’s work and culture without the commitment of a full-time position,” she said.
“Internships give young professionals a taste of an organization’s work and culture without the commitment of a full-time position”
As part of her internship duties, she accompanied AAUW members to Capitol Hill each Thursday to lobby government officials.
“Lobbying is a terrifying and awesome experience,” she said. Robnett eventually learned to confidently represent the 170,000 AAUW members across the country.
At the conclusion of her internship, AAUW hired Robnett full-time to work in its Campus Leadership Programs Department. Now she coordinates AAUW’s Campus Action Project grants, AAUW’s Student Advisory Council, and oversees over 80 AAUW student organizations on college campuses across the country. “I’m giving resources and advice to students and college professionals,” she said.
Robnett has come full circle. Today she is working with college students and providing the same information and programming that she benefitted from as an undergraduate.