Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Network Like You’ve Never Networked Before

I realize I may be preaching to the choir of NACAC veterans here when I say that networking is a key part of the NACAC conference. So, perhaps this point is best directed towards the first-timers in the crowd. Either way, I think all of us can use a reminder of why networking at functions like this is so important in our profession.

The NACAC conference is jam-packed with phenomenal pre-conference seminars and workshops, educational sessions, an entertaining welcome reception and social while getting the chance to check out a cool host city like Seattle. However, can you imagine attending one of these conferences never having the chance to reconnect with old colleagues and friends, “talk shop” with others experiencing similar challenges, or meet someone new at another institution? Me neither.

One of the most beneficial aspects of the national conference is having a venue to talk with others who have been there and done that in regards to college counseling and admissions.

The landscape of secondary and higher education continues to evolve and I have found it extremely helpful to gain a better insight by talking with others who understand what I’m talking about.

I know I am guilty of occasionally focusing too much on my own institution throughout the academic year and neglecting issues taking place on a more macro level. This upcoming conference is expected to have more than 5,000 attendees—what a great opportunity to get caught up on national and international issues by networking!

So, in Seattle, I already know that you will reconnect with old friends and colleagues. My challenge to you (and to myself) is to make a point to meet and network with new colleagues this year. NACAC veterans should make a concerted effort to meet some first-timers and vice-versa. You will be surprised at what you gain from something as simple as this. It is often too easy to remain sheltered in your comfort zone only networking with familiar faces.

When you’re hanging out at the Experience Music Project (EMP) for the Social, hanging out with exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall or attending a SIG, don’t forget to network like you’ve never networked before!

Justin Doty
Trinity University
2007 LAC Co-Chair

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