This past week, I had the opportunity to attend Ruffalo Noel Levitz National Conference in Maryland with Jeff Weston, Ed.D, Enzo Vernone, Brian Henley, Steven Salcido, and Edward Mills, some very influential leaders within the Division of Student Affairs at Sac State. The goal of this conference is to network, gain new tools and strategies for our institution. We divided and conquered! Each of us selected sessions that we found beneficial to our role or just simply interesting.
Little did the team know, my goals were slightly different...
Aside from the conference, this was my first time with this team outside of the office and in another state. This was foreign territory for me and definitely challenged my comfort zone. Also, I spent three full days with my colleagues, day to night. My goal was to learn about these leaders as "people" --how they interacted with one another, absorbed information, teach each other new things, and most importantly, how did they make me feel on this trip? There are two phrases that were emphasized by the keynote speakers that become the theme of this trip "Living the Dream" and "No Regrets."
Behind these photos, no one warned me of the gajillion gnats I had to battle near the reflecting pool to get this photo of the Washington Monument. I was the only newbie in the group that never been to D.C. and everyone was thrilled to walk over 10K steps to the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the White House... and maybe we got lost at one point? Figuring out the next location for dinner... Who's calling the Uber this time? We were all sweating bullets, feet were probably hurting, tired, hungry but that didn't stop us from walking or complaining. What I did noticed, we all looked out for each other and are quite adventurous. This trip was filled with excitement, laughter, exhaustion, good food, long walks and unforgettable memories. It's the kind of memories where "you had to be there to get it."
No matter what profession or job you hold, sometimes, you forget to take a step back and realize that we are just "people" and how these people make you feel and experience life. Here for a good time, but not a long time.
(Article can be view on LinkedIn).