Elizabeth Leick of Mountainside, Union County (NJ), shares her experience: As a senior public relations and writing arts dual major working for Rowan After Hours (RAH), which provides late night weekend socializing opportunities for students, I had the privilege of working on the 2018 National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference in Buffalo, New York. The experience allowed me to network with professionals in higher education student activities, learn more about the field, and use my skills to help make this conference a success.
Attending the 2017 NACA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference my junior year was a surreal experience. I went as an employee of RAH and watched performers to potentially hire for our events, learned how to improve our programs through educational sessions, and interacted with different schools in surrounding states.
Due to my positive experience and interest in entering the higher education field, I applied to be on the NACA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference Planning Committee (RCPC) for the 2018 conference. Much to my surprise, I was accepted as the School Swap Coordinator.
I was one of three undergraduate students working on a committee made up of graduate students and professionals working in higher education student activities. We began meeting and planning as a full committee in January. We picked our theme, #BeYourBestSelfie, and hit the ground running from there.
My specific job was to organize the School Swap, an event during the conference where schools gather and exchange promotional items, marketing tactics, and event ideas. It’s a great opportunity for schools to interact with each other and gain ideas to bring back to their own student activities programs. With guidance from my supervisor, I created a Bingo board with conversation prompts about marketing and programming to initiate conversations between schools.
I also presented an educational session about co-sponsorships for events, which was a big part of my position at RAH last year. My co-worker and current Co-Sponsorship Coordinator for RAH, Brandon West, presented with me, adding his perspective about how to best conduct co-sponsorships.
Throughout the conference, my responsibilities included helping run certain activities, assisting Stephanie Cardoza, fellow Rowan student and Treasurer for the Student University Programmers, fundraise for the NACA organization through raffle tickets and general donations.
I am greatly appreciative for my experience on the NACA Mid-Atlantic RCPC. I was most surprised by how welcoming and encouraging the committee is. It was a unique experience as an undergraduate student to work on a team with graduate students and professionals and feel treated as an equal. I learned a lot about conference planning, student activities, higher education, communication, and collaboration during my time on the NACA RCPC.
Being part of the NACA RCPC is an experience I will carry with me for the next few years of my early career. I would not have been able to have this adventure without the Chamberlain Student Center and Campus Activities’ dedication to student development. It’s opportunities like this that make me grateful and proud to be a Rowan student.
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Story by: Elizabeth Leick
Alyssa Bauer, junior public relations major