John Morris, CBI President

We are getting to that time of the school year where everyone seems to be focusing on just one thing: getting to the end of the semester. Hopefully, as you are nearing the end of the school year, you are doing so with success. But as you plan for the last few months of school, be sure to look to the future, especially the CBI National Student Electronic Media Convention in San Antonio in November.

Before you move on to your summer activities make sure that you take advantage of all the opportunities CBI and this convention offer you. One is the chance to be a presenter in one of the workshops. What area of expertise, or just an area where you have learned a lot, can you share with those attending the convention? Once you have the area you want to present in begin reaching out to either professionals or students from other schools to have them join you on a panel. The best panels often have representatives from several different schools and/or professionals so that a variety of viewpoints can be presented.

There are numerous topics that make great sessions. To name just a few: programming (either for a free form station or a station with a single format and a tight playlist), leadership, training new staff, production, news and news reporting, promotions and more. You’ve learned a lot working at your school’s media; share what you’ve learned. When you team up with another student from a different school the knowledge shared can be great.

To do this though you should be reaching out to those students from other schools before everyone heads home for the summer. Use the CBI listserv to reach a large audience as you seek other participants. Think about those students you met at last year’s convention that you thought would be great to share information with. Connect your skill set with theirs and there is a great learning experience for everyone. Ask your faculty advisor to help you. They often will have tips to help you be more successful in setting up a session. If you wait until the summer, it’s going to be very hard to connect with other students.

This is a great way to also add something to your resume. As you begin your professional job search, things on your resume that help separate you from other applicants can often go a long want in helping you land the job offer. It’s a win-win for everyone. You’ll be more involved in the convention, the sessions will be even better than before, and it puts you on a path to success.