It is not often that I get excited for business trips but for this venture out of Syracuse, I am totally pumped for. I am going to the ACUI National Conference in Boston. For those who do not know, this is a conference for student union professionals to get together to share ideas and best practices. What makes this exciting is that I get to network with people who do like minded work.
This goes with my motto this year of Investing in Myself. It has been a long time since I haven’t been to a conference since 2008 when I took 3 Latino students to the second annual AAHHE Conference in Miami. I did some networking there but not a lot because my life was different then. Regardless, I’m still happy to be able to be in a different environment learning new things.
Networking is very important because it all comes down to who you know in the job market. When you can put a face to a business card or a resume then chances are that person will get at least a longer glance at your job application.
It reminds me of something that happened to me 2 years ago when I was looking to hire a Graduate Assistant. The hiring process is pretty complicated for these graduate students that need to apply to get into the Higher Education program and then try to get an assistantship through a series of interviews. Before the big day there was a reception that allows departments to mingle with potential GAs. I went to the reception to see what the pool looked like because this was the first time I was in charge of this hiring process for my office. As soon as I walked in and got settled, she found me. With a plate a food in my hand, this woman comes up to me and introduced herself with a good handshake and tells me that she is looking forward to our interview. We had a great conversation that left a great impression and I remembered her the next day which lead to me eventually hiring her.
My point is, we never know who we can effect with our presence. The plan is to go to Boston for the educational sessions and mingle those people who can help me be a better professional. The other plan is to get a good feel for other schools as the potential for me to leave SU is always there. I need to make my own contacts and connections. I was commenting to my girlfriend that I have been here for 10+ years and barely know anyone outside of this place, so that needs to change right away.
I am also totally aware that I will be in Boston during St. Patrick’s Day, a fact that has not truly hit me yet either. I have never been the one to celebrate it so that means I am up for some good times. That is also why I went ahead and bought the shirt pictured above. Furthermore, I have some family in Boston that I would love to see. This will be my chance to connect and see the city.
If you follow me in my other mediums then expect to see a lot of pictures from my Instagram app. If you know of any places I should go see…please let me know!