By Melissa Zeigler
As a 2020 Royce and Paula Osborn Scholarship recipient I was asked to write about my experience and my impressions about this year’s AHRA virtual conference. It was evident the amount of work that went into this conference– it was filled with great speakers, games, exhibitors, opportunities to network, and educational items such as pamphlets and sample documents.
I found the conference to be engaging, insightful, interactive, fun, and well organized. I was pleasantly impressed by the amount of engagement opportunities there were. The reward zone was genius-it was both fun and appealing. The competitive side of me came out once I started getting the hang of it.
The sessions that were presented were relevant and insightful. I especially enjoyed listening to the opening keynote speaker, Yassmin Abdel-Magied regarding unconscious bias. When a speaker uses personal experience, it helps exemplify the effect and really puts things into perspective, and that is what she did. As a woman in Management surrounded by men, Yassmin definitely made me think about the biases happening around me and to me. Most importantly she helped me realize for myself the things I need to unlearn and relearn when it comes to unconscious social biases.
One of the sessions that was both helpful and inspiring was Josh Block’s ‘Eating the “Stress Elephant” One Bite at a Time’. Being in a position of leading during a pandemic can be difficult to say the least. Struggling on how to keep up with the ever-changing knowledge of this disease and the new processes that it creates I was feeling like I was drowning. Gaining the insight from Josh couldn’t have come at a better time in my work life. I feel like I am better equipped to help my team members to break down and navigate situational stress and anxiety.
Patricia, we are so happy you enjoyed AHRA Virtual 2020 and look forward to seeing you in person in Tennessee.
I am glad your concerns were assuaged and it really went well with a relaxed atmosphere to it. Thanks to the guy who commented before me as well as the Design team and Conference Managers. I hope this inspires you to volunteer in the future.