By Lindsay Roth
It’s the time of year when we trade ideas, business cards, metrics, and more: CASE’s Annual District One Conference is on the horizon. As you peruse the packed schedule and start to plan your days, please be sure to dedicate a portion to the most important topic of all: yourself.
Professional development should absolutely focus on sharing best practices, learning from friends in the field, and finding out ways to breathe new life into the traditional approaches we’ve all seen. But it also involves taking time to decide what you want for your career, setting goals, and crafting a road map to achieve them. With this in mind, I hope you’ll join me as I moderate a panel of talented development professionals to discuss career moves they’ve executed during their respective careers.
Perhaps you are new to the profession and are interested in learning about paths you could consider taking in the near or distant future. Maybe you’re a longstanding industry veteran looking to make a transition. Or you may fall somewhere in between. No matter where you are on the spectrum, there is a space for you during this panel discussion.
Take Kellen Epstein, who found a way to retain a portfolio as a leadership gift officer when transitioning to the director of annual giving at MIT Sloan School of Business. Maybe you’ll be interested in learning about how Hillary Babick used her passion for the arts and previous experience at Sotheby’s and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to land (and grow) her current role at MassArt. Dana Grider has both higher education and nonprofit experiences in major giving and annual giving. She can provide vital insight on the differences between the two industries and why she chose to return to higher ed in her current role for the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. If you’re interested in diving head first into consulting, you’ll want to seek out Diana Curran who is currently a Director at Changing Our World, Inc. Melissa Rogers has served Boston University at large as a leadership gift officer and recently switched to be more school centric as a director of development for the Boston University Questrom School of Business. And then there’s me, a self-confessed tech nerd who loves higher ed too much to leave it. To supplement my interest, I consult for ThankView, Inc. in my free time, where I assist them in building a community for higher ed clients to use their product to improve solicitation and stewardship.
Basically, we’ve all been there. Transitions can be tough, but they’re less challenging if you take some time to weigh benefits and craft a plan. Offered during the pre-conference Emerging Leaders track on March 14 and again during the Professional Development track on March 15, Should I Stay or Should I Go? is meant for everyone. The common thread is a desire to learn about how planning, networking, and self-advocacy helped panelists reach career milestones on their own terms.
I’m excited for a conversation that focuses on creating a plan that helps you achieve career goals. Until then, feel free to submit questions you’d like answered by tweeting me @lindsayaroth with #CASED1 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you in Boston!
Lindsay A. Roth is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Annual Giving at UMass Dartmouth.