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THE REC Committee Proudly Presents:

The 2017 LINK PROGRAM

The MACUHO Conference LINK program aims to Link Individuals for Networking and Knowledge by pairing an experienced MACUHO conference attendee with one or more new conference attendees prior to the start of the annual conference. The goals of this initiative coordinated by the Recognition, Educations, Connections Committee is to:

1.    Allow first time conference attendees the opportunity to gain insight on what to expect and plan for at the annual conference and give them the opportunity to ask an experienced conference attendee questions about the conference prior to arrival.

2.    Provide an initial first link and connection to MACUHO by providing a new conference attendee with contact information for someone that they can then meet with at the conference to ask questions, advice, and tips for getting the most out of their MACUHO experience.

3.    Provide new attendees with a MACUHO connection that they can stay connected with throughout the year to become more involved in MACUHO and provide ongoing mentorship and networking.

 

A Guide for LINK Participants

1.       Get to Know Each Other

Share your stories with each other – How did you get into the field?  What is your five year plan?  What are your short and long-term goals?  Tell each other about your current position and institution.  Talk about how the academic year is going so far and what your biggest challenges and successes have been.

2.       Share Conference Info and Tips

Talk about why you chose to attend the conference and what are you hoping to get out of it.  Work together to make goals for the conference.  Go over the information below for tips on making connections and share other tips for making the most of the conference.  Mentors – What did you wish you knew before you attending your first MACUHO Conference?  How have you gotten involved in MACUHO and how has that involvement benefited you?  Mentees – What other conferences have you attended and what was your experience like?

3.       Make a Plan to Meet Again

Try to meet again during the conference to touch base and perhaps also at the end of the conference to reflect on how it went. Some suggestions would be sit at lunch together, pick sessions to attend together, look for a free time during the conference schedule and plan a coffee break and catch up!

4.       Exchange Contact Info

Although the L.I.N.K. program is designed to provide connections and mentoring at the conference, it can also be a good contact for after the conference.  Go ahead and exchange business cards and stay in touch!

 

Suggestions for Making Connections at Conferences

1.       Attend Sessions and Meetings

This is how you can learn about new ideas and practices in the field and sharpen your skills.  Arrive early to ensure you get a seat at the presentation.  When you go into a session, sit next to someone you don't know and introduce yourself.  Take the opportunity to ask questions and listen to other people’s questions as well.  If you hear someone make an insightful comment or ask an interesting question, introduce yourself to them after the session.    

2.       Carry Business Cards

Slip some of your business cards in your name tag holder behind your name tag.  This makes it easy to give them out, and you can also collect business cards those from people you meet.  If you don’t have business cards, write your contact info on small slips of paper or ask the individual you are exchanging with for an extra card and write your info on the back to give them.

3.       Network

Start conversations with other participants whom you find interesting and pass out your business cards to people you'd like to know better.  Have a brief one-minute speech prepared for making new contacts.  It should include who you are, where you work, and two or three of your main interests or responsibilities.  You both may share a common interest and start a conversation.  

4.       Put Relevant Information on the Back of Business Cards

On your cards, write appropriate information such as information you are requesting as well as when and where you met.   When you collect a card, be sure to write something about the individual on the back of the card so that you remember for follow-up purposes.

5.       Eat a Meal with Someone You Don’t Know

Go to lunch alone and share a table with a previously unknown conference attendee.  Take the risk of asking if they would mind if you joined them for lunch.  You can make long-term professional connections from taking a chance.

6.       Follow up

Follow up with the interesting people you met at the conference via email as soon as you can after the meeting and touch base with them periodically throughout the year to maintain that connection.  It is pointless to collect a pile of business cards unless you use them to stay connected with those individuals in the future. 

 
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