William Covington, student at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs, and National Council Student Member-at-Large
On October 28, hundreds of Alpha Lambda Delta student officers and advisors will meet in Washington, D.C. for the annual leadership conference. The leadership conference is a fantastic opportunity for students to discuss how their chapter is run, share ideas with other chapters, develop their leadership skills, and network with ALD members from across the United States. To help you make the most of your trip, here are some guidelines to prepare for the conference:
Before the conference:
- Undergo an analysis of your chapter, and become familiar with the dynamics of your chapter, if you are not already. Seek to understand how your chapter’s financing functions, how the chapter is recognized as a club on campus, what you do to increase recruiting, your chapter’s presence on campus and within the community, how you promote academic excellence, which events worked well and did not work as well, where your strengths are as a chapter, where you are weak, and so on.
- Assemble a notebook or small portfolio outlining key aspects of your chapter, as well as how you want to improve your chapter. Bring these ideas and areas of improvement with you to the conference.
During the conference:
- It is important to discuss how your chapter functions and compare what you do with other ALD chapters. This will give you insight on how others have been successful, and provide you with ideas to take home.
- ALD offers a wide variety of educational sessions that will help you develop yourself and your chapter. These sessions will serve as the medium for you to express your ideas, so it is important for you to engage in discussion within each of these sessions. Doing so will help your fellow ALD officers to hear the many ways in which other chapters find success. Take detailed notes during these sessions, writing down what you learned, what you think, and how you can apply the information presented. After the sessions, but before you leave, write a short plan of what you would like to change within your chapter and how you will approach it. You will likely be feeling very creative at this point, so record any ideas you have so that you may revise them later.
- Don’t forget to network during the conference! Networking can give you an extra point of contact and an outside perspective in tackling new ideas. The people you network with can help walk you through the process of implementing ideas if they have experience.
After the conference:
- You will now have the opportunity to take what you learned during the conference and apply it to your chapter. Revisit the notes you made before and during the conference, and begin to “flesh out” a strategy to implement what you learned.
- Present your ideas and your knowledge gained from the conference to your chapter’s members so that they can become engaged in implementing the plans you have made. Often members have knowledge of organizations that ALD can get involved with, so it is worth discussion so that members may voice their opinions and lend their insights to implementing strategic change.