By Ben Matthews, P.E., F.SAME, Guest Contributor
Most of my LinkedIn colleagues recognize my passion for getting involved with professional societies and in particular the Society of American Military Engineers. The next Joint Engineer Training Conference (JETC) is just around the corner May 23-25 and I wanted to share some reasons younger professionals should attend.
I understand mission and design production requirements are busier than ever, but hopefully, you will consider some of these Top 10 Reasons to Attend JETC!
1) Be a lifelong learner. Technical tracks help enhance your career or allow you to learn about other disciplines. They also serve as excellent professional development hours for those who are already licensed.
2) Support the troops. This is what makes SAME great. It is not just for military and it is not just for engineers. Learn what active duty engineers are up to and how you can support them. Active military can also learn from the other services.
3) Stay abreast of the latest from industry. Talk to hundreds of exhibitors to discover their products/services. Get some swag while you are at it. Make connections that could help you today, or tomorrow.
4) Insights from your peers. Learn where your peers are they on their career path and see how they moved up the career ladder.
5) Make friends. The term “network” can be overused, but the fellow young professionals that you meet through SAME can become friends for life. I know that from experience over the last 15 years.
6) Find a mentor. While time is limited, you never know what senior leader you might bump into or what conversation might spark. They were once in your shoes and are more willing than you might think to help you in your development.
7) Learn the lingo. Contracting terminology, small business designations, acronym-apalooza. Government work can be confusing and JETC is a crash course opportunity.
8) Special events for Young Members. On site and after hours events and seating for Young Members makes it easy to connect with other young professionals.
9) Become involved with the Young Member Council. Attend the introduction meeting on Wednesday morning. Young Member leaders want to hear about what more the council can be doing from a national perspective to support young professionals around the world.
10) Learn how to get engaged with the SAME Run to 2020 celebration. As a Young Member, help shape the future of the Society. SAME is turning 100 years young in 2020 and Young Members will set the tone for the next century.
These are the 10 that came to my mind, but there are many more out there that highlight the benefits of conference attendance. I particularly liked the layout that Rich Brooks from Flyte New Media put together online about attending professional conferences.
Bottom line is that I am looking forward to seeing more young professionals at future SAME conferences. And on behalf of the Society, I am happy to have this conversation with your boss!
See you in Kansas City for #SAMEJETC18!
Connect with SAME
JETC Website: www.samejetc.org
Twitter: @same_hq | #SAMEJETC18