We are halfway through the week and halfway through this board year. As I reflect on my first six months as president, I want to share six of the best things that have come from my involvement in SMPS.
The people I’ve met through SMPS are by far the highlight. They have given me so many laughs. They’ve given me advice, both personal and professional. They can relate to my venting and have helped keep me employed. They are the reason I look forward to SMPS events like I look forward to softball Sunday Fundays. Get deeper than small talk and your network can become much more meaningful.
- Professional Network
Outside of the SMPS members I consider close friends, there are at least 100 individuals I’ve met through SMPS across the country that have become important professional connections. Whether it’s for intel, advice, or access to their network, they are all valuable resources. Make a goal to meet someone new at every SMPS event. Swap business cards or connect on LinkedIn. A/E/C is a small world and knowing them might come in handy someday.
Since changing paths after graduating in architecture, I started my current position with very little knowledge on how to do business development and marketing. From InDesign tricks to networking tips and writing skills, I attribute the quick success I’ve had in my career to everything I’ve learned through SMPS.
I tend to be “all in” when doing something and entering the world of BD and marketing was no different so of course becoming a CPSM became an immediate goal. Adding a few letters after your name may seem insignificant but you’d be astounded by the newfound sense of respect as a subject expert (and potentially a raise) that comes with it. Whether you have 5 years of experience or 15 years, everyone can benefit from learning the material and achieving certification.
I would say this one comes from a combination of all the previous benefits. When you know the room and feel the support of so many in it, you have no problem grabbing the mic and taking charge. They say to surround yourself with people who encourage and inspire you. You have found those people in SMPS. Let them build you up.
- Bow Ties
I would be remiss if I skipped this one. I remember the first time I wore a bow tie to an SMPS event and was a little nervous about it having only worn more traditional “girl” clothes before. Then I showed up to the next event which was the MCAs in a dress, and everyone seemed surprised and asked what happened to the bow tie. This may seem small but was a life-changing moment. I had found a group of people that recognized and appreciated the style (or “personal brand”) that suits me. Fast forward to today and I’ve received multiple bow ties as gifts from fellow SMPS members and suggestions for which I should buy next. This isn’t the stereotypical marketing organization you might think. Embrace SMPS and I guarantee your return will be far greater than your investment.
I have been involved with several other organizations throughout my life, but none have had near the impact of SMPS. Thank all of you for making it so incredible. I look forward to the second half of my tenure and vow to cherish every moment of it.
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