March 2014 President's Corner
A SAA Member's Survival Guide to AudiologyNOW!
It's hard to believe, but AudiologyNOW! is quickly approaching! We already have over 800 students registered for the conference in Orlando, and I'm excited to get the opportunity to meet you and your chapter members.
Though AudiologyNOW! isn't quite a zombie apocalypse or a wilderness adventure, I've assembled a SAA member's survival guide to pass along a few tips and tricks to enhance your conference experience.
- Leave the heels at home. There are so many things to do and see at AudiologyNOW!, and you don't want your stylish footwear to hold you up (trust me, I had to have my foot x-rayed after the conference last year!). Given the size of the conference center and the busy days you will have, it's best to wear comfortable and versatile footwear.
- Take the time to pre-plan. Use the time you have on the plane to make yourself a tentative agenda -- this is extremely important. There are a variety of sessions offered at every timeslot, and many of these may fill up quickly. If you don't have an idea of which sessions you may be interested in, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed or unsure of where to go.
- Choose a variety of sessions. Unsure if you're interested in cochlear implants or vestibular sciences? Electrophysiology or hearing aids? AudiologyNOW! is a great opportunity to get exposure to many topics within our field, some of which you may not have studied in class or seen clinically yet. Plan to attend sessions related to topics you're most interested in but also those that you want to learn more about.
- Network, network, network! Audiology is a small profession, so it's especially important to get to know your fellow or future colleagues. Attending events like Celebrate Audiology and the ABA Meet & Great provide the perfect venues to speak with practicing audiologists and find out more about their work environments, look into externship/employment opportunities, and investigate their passions within our field.
- Dress in layers. It will be great to enjoy some Orlando sunshine, but convention centers have the tendency to be a little cool inside. Remember to throw an extra sweater or jacket in your suitcase!
- Set aside time to visit the Expo Hall. Some students find the Expo Hall to be a slightly intimidating place, but grab a few of your classmates and take a trip through the show floor. Representatives from each of the companies are eager to answer your questions about their newest technology. Keep a special look out for professionals wearing the 'Student Friendly' buttons, as they're especially happy to connect with students.
- Consult your program's code of ethics. AudiologyNOW! provides many opportunities to interact with industry and learn more about their latest innovations. Every school is different, so make sure you are cognizant of your program's policies about students' relationships with industry before you go!
- Go to the annual SAA Membership Meeting. You can find a full listing of all of the student events on the AudiologyNOW! website, but one of the most important events is our annual SAA Membership Meeting on Thursday afternoon from 3:30-5:30pm. This meeting is a safe place for students to review national SAA activities, talk about your local chapter, and provides an open forum to discuss hot topics in our field. Best of all, each chapter who sends a representative to this meeting will be reimbursed $100. To get more details about the reimbursement process and to RSVP, please e-mail Jason Wigand.
Are there any other important tips or tricks that you would suggest to other students? Post on the Student Academy of Audiology Facebook page or use the student Audiology Community to share your thoughts! Once again, I look forward to seeing you in Orlando.
Andrea Green, SAA President