Greg Skloot joined the Northeastern Entrepreneurs Club as a first-year student, when he was one of only 10 students in the small group. By the time he was named president of the E-Club in his senior year, the club boasted more than 200 aspiring entrepreneurs.
The E-Club is now one of the best student-run entrepreneurship clubs in the world, according to an online community that ranked the top 20 programs on college campuses around the globe. As it started to make its meteoric rise to prominence, other student leaders started to contact Skloot to learn how the group achieved such rapid success.
“As our club grew and started to become well-known, I began hearing from other clubs,” said Skloot, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2012. “I realized that a lot of what we had done could actually be helpful to other people.”
With this in mind, Skloot started working on an e-book in the final semester of his senior year on how to run a successful student group.
The e-book—“Getting Organized: How to Build a Great Student Organization at a University”—became available as a free download earlier this month and is based on Skloot’s own experiences. Supplemented with insight from fellow leaders and E-Club members, the book focuses on programming, marketing, operations, membership, events, and leadership—the six areas that play major roles in the success of an up-and-coming student group.
“I hope people can look at it, get the inside scoop on what our team did to take something so small and turn it into something so big, and let that serve as an inspiration,” said Skloot. “The E-Club was a very big success story here at Northeastern and I hope that can be applicable and useful to other groups trying to accomplish similar things.”
Skloot noted two key traits of successful campus organizations: students, not faculty or staff, run the group, and guest lectures from big-name speakers take on a casual and less academic feel.
“The big theme that runs through the whole book is student ownership, where students create and run things without faculty involvement in their programs,” said Skloot. “If you can do that, you create this atmosphere where people are learning but it doesn’t feel like school. You’re learning in a way that isn’t officially authorized, almost, and the atmosphere is so student-centric that it’s a place that people just want to be.”
Following his graduation, Skloot served as chief operating officer for the marketing firm Influencers@. Earlier this month, he began working full time for Attendware, a company he co-founded that helps organizations facilitate event check-ins and keep track of guests. Attendware counts Northeastern’s Center for Research Innovation and the university’s Office of Alumni Relations as two of its clients.
Skloot’s also busy promoting his e-book on social media and reaching out to people who sought advice during his tenure as E-Club president. “I’m hoping that as people read it, they’ll find it useful, grow their own groups, and pass the message along,” he said.