Join a conference committee!

During business school there are a million different things pulling you in all different directions, it is up to you where you put your energy, time and dedication.  One of the most common questions I get from perspectives is what club do I join and in what capacity. Don’t get me wrong, I joined everything I could and dove headfirst into being a Graduate Ambassador (GA), a VP of Knowledge Management for LuxRet and an AVP in SISA, and loved all of them.  However if you could only join one activity, it should be a conference committee and let me tell you why.

1. Concrete Deliverable

Everything I am involved in has different rewards, as a GA watching someone I have talked to through all aspects of application finally get accepted makes my heart soar! But with a conference committee, I get to spend a whole day celebrating and showing off the work I did all year.  I worked on the NYU Social Innovation Symposium, mostly on sponsorship and had the chance to plan and host a panel. I have never felt more pride in a snack room than the one I got to fill with my hard work. (Even if I did accidentally drop and smash a carton of glass bottles at the beginning of the day).  Watching a panel I spent months coordinating go off without a hitch made me giddy. Working on a conference team you get to watch all of your efforts unfold in front of you.

2. Close Friends

A conference team is usually a group of 5-10 that plans together for months to make the conference day happen.  That means you have 5-10 people you are spending a crazy amount of time with, usually once a week for months. We became a team quickly, things go wrong during planning, it is inevitable and working together to fix problems under pressure makes you close quickly.  I can’t tell you how happy we all were after the conference closed. It was a great way to meet people and develop close connections naturally.

3. Explore Your Interests

As part of a conference committee, you are planning panels, workshops, keynotes etc.  Each conference is hosted by a club, for me it was SISA, and you can get more specific with panels. This usually means you get to choose a panel, workshop or keynote to take responsibility for and plan.  I hosted a panel on the circular economy in consumer goods which included fashion brands like VICENZI and Eileen Fischer, as well as Toast Ale and Mobley. Planning this panel gave me the opportunity to meet new people and dive deeper into something I was interested in.  I know more about the circular economy and sustainable initiatives after planning than I would have otherwise.


If you have to be super selective of where you put your time and how you get involved (which you will in a 1-year program) I highly suggest spending that time on a conference planning committee!