Participating at the Connections Conference last fall left a strong and empowering impression on me. I left the conference feeling closer with my LAS cohort and having made new friendships outside of the leadership institute, all while in an environment conducive to leadership development.
I returned this year as a member of the committee to host the conference. Our team of college students met once every two weeks to prepare for the weekend long extravaganza. We’d review and select submitted presentations, organize all necessary conference materials, and action plan for the actual event.
During the weekend, I volunteered as Technology Assistant, which is right up my alley. My tasks basically involved supporting the presenters with all technological mishaps; whether it was a faulty projector or speakers acting up, I was the guy to step in and help. Luckily, the issues with technology were non existent all weekend, so I tried to pick up other tasks, but nothing was ever strenuous. Working with this committee was a breeze.
I didn’t sit through any sessions this weekend, but I still managed to make new connections! At night on Saturday, there is time set aside for all participants, presenters, and staff to hit up the Great Wolf Lodge’s outlandishly awesome water park. Here I met Brad Kloha, Director of Administration in Enrollment and Student Services at Central Michigan University. Brad is also an alumni and regional director of my fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Meeting Brad was cool for a numbers, including his position at the university and his history with the fraternity, but we also got talking on some of the cool things he’s done, including finishing 100 intense races, like the Tough Mudder and the Warrior Dash, in a year’s time.
Having the opportunity to work with the committee was a dream, and watching the program be a success again was such a rewarding experience. I especially enjoyed seeing the next generation of Leadership Advancement Scholars begin to network cross campus. Connections 2014, you were too good to me.