The Associated Collegiate Press conference is great for making you feel inspired, like a big Pinterest board for journalism, and it is also a nice place to network.
Networking requires socializing.
Socializing requires looking people in the eye and speaking.
I am a bit scared of socializing.
If I learned one thing at Mills it is that sometimes learning is uncomfortable. You have to be uncomfortable, and then you have to figure out how to be comfortable with that. I tell myself that I like learning a lot. I also think I am really blessed to be able to have opportunities like these, and so I would like learn as much as I can while I am here.
Practice usually does make perfect, and I know I learn best by practicing. With this in mind, my first task was to talk to the other attendees, and I dove right in and talked to other students from a different school on the shuttle. They were sweet and super personable. I even managed to introduce the other staff members to them! Just by repeating names and positions to people, who only moments ago I only knew that they had lovely fashion sense, gave me some confidence in my own networking abilities.
I also went to some sessions about blogging and writing, which were inspirational and helpful in their own right; however, I felt more accomplished and inspired after talking to new people. Being able to attend conferences like ACP is a great way for even more introverted people, like myself, to push the boundaries and learn to make a lasting impression on others — a skill that is transferable to other opportunities beyond those found in journalism.