On Wednesday, Oct. 12, fifteen Union College students and staff headed to the annual Society of Adventist Communicators (SAC) conference in Denver, Col. for a three day conference. The conference, intended for professionals and students alike, was an opportunity to learn, grow and network with others in public relations, graphic design, photography, videography, print and digital media and journalism.
The mission of SAC is “to nurture the spiritual, social, and professional growth of society members.” For students, this convention was an opportunity to gain professional mentoring and network with future contacts for employment.
This year’s conference theme “Keep Climbing” featured lectures, workshops, panel discussions and tech talks all focused on ways to continue growing as a communicator.
A number of qualified individuals spoke throughout the weekend, including Union’s associate professor of English and communication, Chris Blake, who gave a workshop entitled “Don’t Let the Jerks Get You Down (Including the One in the Mirror).” Blake’s workshop was intended to teach communications majors how to deal with difficult people.
“My favorite part was networking—especially on Sabbath when we were able to go outside and enjoy God’s nature while walking, talking and learning from fellow photographers,” commented senior communications major Yary Jimenez.
Personally, my favorite activity was the offsite tour we took Thursday morning. Half of the Union group went to the NBC Uplink studio, where they were able to see behind the scenes of what goes on in a television studio. The rest went to Karsh Hagen, a local advertising company in Denver.
Before arriving, I didn’t really see how a professional conference would be beneficial for me. Wow, I was wrong. I suppose I never realized just how much I could do with my communications degree after graduation. Touring Karsh & Hagen opened up a whole new world of ideas.
Daisy Muga, a sophomore biomedical science major, also decided to attend the conference, despite not being a communications major. She explained, “I wanted to learn more about how I can use communications to make myself more marketable in my career. I learned a lot of new things, met inspirational people, and mingled with students from other colleges.”
This conference ultimately allowed students to explore the world of communications and to bond together. While some upper-division students already knew many of the basics covered in the workshops, the weekend offered something for everyone.
If interested in attending next year’s SAC conference, or to learn more about SAC, visit adventistcommunicator.org. Next year’s SAC conference will be held in Portland, Ore. While Union doesn’t plan on taking as many students next year, the hope is to continue helping students realize the value in connecting early in college with other professionals.