I remember it like it was yesterday. Driving into downtown Indianapolis with my fellow University of Illinois ACT members all excited and nervous for the days ahead. Looking back at my first Ag Media Summit I wish I wouldn’t have been so intimidated! But hey, I was only a freshman.
The conference was full of activities and new people. My favorite session was about photography. With my laptop in hand, I learned about photo editing programs and how to capture the right images. Two summers later and I’m excited to further my skills this year in St. Louis.
Heading into my senior year and two Ag Media Summits under my belt, I want to encourage all of you first timers. It is such an exciting time to be with others who share the same passion as you. It can also be nerve wracking to stand among some of the best in the industry. Here are some tips on making your first to Ag Media Summit a successful one.
- Dress business casual. You will be networking with other students and professionals. Have fun and be creative! It will show your personality and make you feel comfortable. Pack a dressier outfit for the Tuesday night awards dinner.
- Bring business cards. You never know if your future boss is standing right in front of you. No need to bring resumes or cover letters. Professionals are here to network but not to hold a job interview. Get to know them and their career by just talking with them!
- Don’t skip out on sessions. You may have gotten no sleep the night before, but that’s not an excuse! Chug some coffee and go learn about skills that will be beneficial to your future career.
- Explore the city. Yes, you are there for a conference and to learn (see above). However, there is plenty of time on Monday night to go to a nice restaurant with your new friends!
- Attend the Info Expo. It is a huge networking opportunity. You are able to talk with professionals while potentially looking for what company you may want to work with. You also get freebies. Who doesn’t want to go home with free stuff? (Just keep your suitcase under 50 pounds!)
- Enjoy yourself. Ag Media Summit is only once a year. You are in a place with people who share the same passion. Take advantage of your time and go home feeling rejuvenated.
I’ll be stalking around Ag Media Summit with my camera in tow taking pictures! Be sure to attend our welcome session on Sunday followed by a visit to Osborn Barr. You also don’t want to miss our business meeting and elections (consider running for an office!) on Tuesday at 4:30.