Student-run XA Club aims to instill a sense of community and success within the XA Major

Students that are a part of the Experience Architecture major take pride in running the impressive XA Club. Formed just a few years ago, XA Club is a space for students in the major to connect, network, and grow as scholars and community members. In an interview with the President of the club, Ann Desrochers shares the club’s goals and mission, meeting information, and how the club can poise its members for success after graduation. 

WRAC: What made you want to join XA Club?

Ann: I joined XA Club freshmen year, after seeing it advertised through the XA listserv. What appealed to me about XA Club was that it was a community of amazing people that were interested in the same topics (UX Design, UX Research, portfolios), as well as shared the same goals as me. With XA being such a new major/field, it was helpful to be surrounded by people like me. Outside of this, being free and requiring a low level of commitment was appealing to me as a college student. It fit right into my schedule and did not have any attendance policies which made me miss out on any other clubs I was a part of! 

WRAC: Who is in charge of running the club, and are there any faculty sponsors?

Ann: I, Ann Desrochers, am the President, Nikki Ngatio is our Vice President, and Casey McArdle is our faculty sponsor! 

WRAC: What can students look forward to getting out of XA Club?

Ann: Students can look forward to a lot of great things from XA Club. Firstly, the career/professional advice that is discussed in XA Club is extremely helpful. Via a variety of activities and guest speakers, students can get an up-close look at how XA is applied in the workplace. Another great way of saying this is “tracing their path through the industry”. Again, with XA being such a new industry, seeing the various positions, and skills that are currently valued is extremely helpful. Another aspect of career development that XA Club students are exposed to is portfolio development, something that is crucial to a successful XA career. Lastly, XA Club is a place where students can learn more about their major, including capstone points, classes, and more. 

WRAC: What is the overall goal of XA Club?

Ann: The overall goal of XA Club is to serve the needs and interests of its students, whether it’s through activities or guest speakers. Being student-run allows for exactly this. We hope to create a community for XA students to be supported both throughout their MSU journey and beyond! 

WRAC: What happens during an XA Club meeting?

Ann: Typically, the president starts the meeting with usual housekeeping, including reminders, updates, or any job opportunities that may have come up. We then move into either an activity in small groups (UX Research, UX Design, portfolio) or a session with a guest speaker. Lastly, we end with a discussion about the activity we completed or the speaker we heard from. 

WRAC: How often do you meet?

Ann: We meet for one hour bi-weekly on Tuesdays. 

WRAC: How has being remote impacted the way that XA Club meetings are run? Do you think there is a significant difference between remote and in-person club meetings?

Ann: Being remote hasn’t made it more difficult for us, but it has definitely changed how we interact and feel. Pre-covid, we still had guest speakers that would join via Zoom, so not too big of a change there. However, there is a loss of human connection that is evident. We used to meet in a beautiful space filled with whiteboards and sticky notes, allowing us to feel creative and hands-on. Also, being able to have snacks and refreshments during our meetings only helped more. Being remote, there aren’t those creature comforts anymore, and actually, attendance has been down. It’s clear that being in-person increases engagement. 

WRAC: How can people learn more about XA Club? Social media?

Ann: We have a Facebook group for people to join. Also, people can email me!

Ann’s email:

WRAC: As president, what do you want the club to look like in the future?

Ann: Hopefully the club will be in-person! I want this club to be an engaging and safe place for students to come to learn and have fun. As long as XA Club sticks to its main purpose of serving the needs and interests of its students, as well as providing valuable information to them (career, academic, person), it will always be successful!