Conferences like WordCamp, WordPress, Florida Blogging Conference and others offer opportunities never before heard of for HBCU students. The journey to start a career comes with the preparation that needs to be done ahead of graduations and not rushed.
Mistakes happen when what should have been done was not, procrastination can kill the beginning of a career and destroy the first impression by not being prepared, and then rushing causes mistakes that can keep a person from earning an internship, scholarship or the dream position with a corporation.
Conferences, workshops, seminars and technology camps provide access to thought leaders, smart creatives, programmers, developers and others that are involved
in the tech industry.
The leaders, doers and those that make things happen.
HBCU students must get out of their comfort zones, they must climb out of being introverts and express their passions when in the company of opportunity.
Students like Jon Gregory, Joshua Rodriguez Ramirez A. Poole of Edward Waters College attend events that put them in the position of sharing their knowledge and speaking with those with the experience and connections to take them to the next level.
HBCU instructors should take the opportunity as I do to take students to these events to allow students to spread their wings and apply what is learned in the classroom in discussions with professionals and startups.
These suggestions were developed by Jon and Josh when returning from attending WordCampUSA Philadelphia. The international blogging and digital conference held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. https://2016.us.wordcamp.org/
HBCU institutions should continue to provide learning and networking opportunities to push, guide and inspire their students to get to the next level.
Here are 10 reasons why HBCU students need to attend conferences and HBCU instructors need to support their students in doing this.
1. To get off campus to experience new things.
All learning does not happen in the classroom setting. Sometimes the best learning experiences are found with industry leaders and professions at conferences where sharing is valuable and current.
2. Awesome networking opportunities.
True networking is not friending on Social Media it is handshaking, golfing, tennis, lunch, and dinners. True networking is the physical presence that happens when people meet and build a relationship that grows to opportunities for both.
3. Learn why it’s important to build your brand.
Each HBCU student needs to develop their Brand and find their niche. You Brand is your promise for quality and service.
4. Learn Marketing strategies for your brand.
Once your Brand is developed start planning to strategically market for your audience you are working to grab. Marketing strategies will be different for each Social Media platform and the demographic you are addressing.
5. Seeking wisdom from professional elders.
Professional elders are the best mentors for growth, exposure, and knowledge. When a dope letter of recommendation is needed or a word from an experienced elder is in need this the way to go. Building relationships are important with elders and carries a long way to not making mistakes and overcoming professional challenges that will happen.
6. Learning how to gain internships and career options
Using LinkedIn and LinkedIn for Higher Education are awesome resources that help to get out what students abilities, talents, skills and aspirations are. Most Social Media platforms are free and even using HBCU Connect (http://hbcuconnect.com/) LinkedIn (http://linkedin.com)
7. Experience and learn new travel methods
Traveling teaches many lessons about one’s self and how to conduct behaviors in public and private settings. Parents that fail to teach when children are young find out later their errors when as teens and adults the lack of social skills hinders their growth.
8. Learn how to manage a budget for traveling
There is more to traveling than just reserving a plane ticket, hotel room or renting a car.
There is a process that includes good credit, having access to finances that allow for rentals
and the maturity to be able to do all of these with confidence. Lessons must be learned in advance and this is what is not taught in the classroom, these are real life experiences that need mentoring and guidance.
9. Make sure you have an up to date resume
And business cards and curriculum vitae.
Imagine attending an international conference and meeting the CEO of a corporation. He finds out he is looking for someone like you but wants to know your experiences and to have you email documents to Human Resources. Imagine that your resume, business cards, and even your curriculum vitae are several years old? HBCU students must take seriously that their information must be up to date and accurate.
10. Preparation is key
Opportunity will only knock once in some cases and preparation can take you to new levels.