By Jennifer Hogan, RRO, LEED AP, CET
|1||Plan a pre-convention meet-up.
Grab a coffee, have some lunch, or even just chat on the phone for a few minutes to start building a rapport. It’s a great way to get to know each other and can be helpful when navigating some of the next tips.
|2||Introduce yourselves to as many people as possible.
This is a great tip for mentors and mentees alike. Mentors should take the lead here and make sure that the mentee gets to meet all his or her contacts. They can also take the opportunity to meet new people as they make further introductions. “Hi, my name is ___and this is ___, the student I am mentoring,” is a fantastic ice breaker!
|3||Start the introductions early.
Meeting new people and learning a lot of new names in a short amount of time can be challenging. The opening reception on Friday evening is a great opportunity to start making introductions to help ensure that each of you can get the most out of the new people you meet.
|4||Save a seat.
You don’t always have to sit together, but saving a seat is a nice way to make someone feel welcomed and included.
One of the main goals for any student attending this event should be learning. Some fantastic dicsussion points can come from the education session, so make sure to attend and suggest some interesting ones for the students as well. (You can find the sessions recommended by the Emerging Professionals Committee by looking for the [EP] after the session title.)
|6||Do something social.
The convention offers a host of great social gatherings. The RCI Foundation Reception and Event, the Annual Banquet, and the Exhibitors’ Hospitality Receptions are all great examples. You could even head out and explore Houston once the day’s activites conclude.
|7||Be an active listener.
This is a key point for success in any field, but one that is often overlooked. Active listeners take notes, ask questions, and mirror-back what they have heard to make sure that the message was received and interpreted correctly. Be present and show that you are engaged!
|8||Lead by example.
Be a positive role model and live your personal and professional values. You can learn an awful lot from someone just by observing their behaviors. It’s a great way to pick up information about someone’s ethics, standards, style, beliefs, and methods. So be sure to put your best foot forward!
|9||Share your experiences.
The best resource we have to share is our experiences. Story-telling is an excellent vehicle for long-term learning. Sharing experiences—good and bad—encourages others to do the same. As a result, you may be surprised to find that you learn something new as well.
|10||Keep in touch.
As part of the sponsorship, the students receive a one-year membership to RCI and their local chapter. Encourage them to attend events and help spread the word to their fellow students about the great learning opportunities that RCI offers.
The call for Student Mentors at the 2018 Convention in Houston, Texas is out. If you are interested in supporting this great initiative, you can find more information at the link below: http://rci-online.org/volunteer-student-mentor-ambassador-convention/
The application for Student Sponsorships to attend the convention is due on February 12, 2018. More detailed information about the program, as well as the application form, can be found at the link below:
Did you miss parts 1 and 2 of this series? You can read them at the links below.
Knowledge, Networking, and Fun Part 1 – The Student Perspective on the Annual Convention
Knowledge, Networking, and Fun Part 2 – The Mentor Perspective on the Annual Convention