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Words of Wisdom from Mom: Kate Hogan

March 6, 2010

My mother always told me, “It’s not always what you know, but who you know.” Mom’s words of wisdom have stuck with me through many years, and are particularly relevant to my life today. I am fairly certain that during my teenage years, my mom couldn’t have predicted my career within Student Affairs. She did, however, foresee that I would be someone who talked with people, asked about their stories, and learned from their anecdotes and experiences. Even at a young age, I was someone who was self-assured and didn’t mind approaching others and introducing myself.

As the NASPA 2010 Annual Conference draws nearer (we’re less than a week away!), I am remembering the teachings from my mother. Sometimes it’s about whom you know. The NASPA conference is a great time to build your professional network. Even the people you meet in an elevator, or standing waiting for a cup of coffee, can someday impact your professional life. Making the most out of your time in Chicago is not only about attending sessions and job searching at The Placement Exchange, but includes intentional networking.

Last week, I was a participant at the Annual Southeastern Association of Housing Officers (SEAHO) conference in Williamsburg, Virginia. A piece of advice that I would give anyone who is about to attend a conference is VOLUNTEER! The people that you meet while volunteering are great resources and could even be potential mentors someday! While volunteering and extending your network, make sure you’re talking to people you don’t know. It’s great to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, but ensure that you are getting the most from others in the field.

So, as we embark to Chicago in a few days, remember that networking matters. Take that first step towards someone new, and reach out your hand.

After all, Mom knows best.

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