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        Looking for fresh, unedited perspectives from your fellow alumni? You've come to the right place. These blogs are written by members of the BPA Alumni Division in an effort to share their experience, advice and insights with you on varying topics of interest. Whether you're curious about the best ways to network, update your LinkedIn profile or just want to know some basic Dos and Don'ts, BPA Alumni from across the country are here to share their perspective. 


        by Deb Schwager, Minnesota State Post-secondary Executive Director, Alumni Member

        Ok you’ve decided to run for a National Office. Now you're probably saying "Wow, what was I thinking!" Don't worry, it is not as intimidating as it seems. Let's break it down. You made a conscious decision to commit to one year if elected. It will be exciting, busy, fun, bring you life-long friendships and travel. Oh, did I mention it will be busy?

        I still remember when I decided to run for National Office. I thought, "I can do this" (says every mom) even though I was already our Chapter President, State President, a business owner, mom and full-time student. Yep, it was a busy year. But that didn't stop me from being determined to give it a go, and it shouldn't stop you either. You just need to have your 'ducks in a row' so to speak. Be organized. Be prepared. Have your plan in place.

        So now that you have gotten over that first bit of overwhelmment and you have your plan in place, it's time to get prepared. Here are some simple steps to help you in your endeavor:

        1. Identify and enlist your campaign manager: A campaign manager is one of your greatest assets (They promote you).
        2. Paperwork checklist: Make sure you have all of your papers filled out-recommendations done, transcripts all ready to send as soon as possible (And make sure to have copies of everything you have sent).
        3. Do your research and ask questions: Talk to a former National officer if you have the opportunity to do so - they are a wealth of information.
        4. Prepare your platform: Figure out your Platform, Ex: increased membership, torch, registration, contest etc.
        5. What's your slogan?: It should be short and simple – don’t over think it.
        6. Prepare your materials: Get campaign literature done early. Less is better. Have this ready to go and in your suitcase.
        7. Lay out your materials: Do a pre-set up on a table to see how it will look and what you need/don’t need (remember you need to pack it).
        8. Be prepared: What will you be asked? How will you respond? Make eye contact. Remember to smile. - Be prepared to answer questions and smile indefinitely.
        9. Take a breath: Rememer to breathe, smile, breathe and have fun with it!
        10. It's 'go time': You've done all you can to get ready for this moment. Now go out there and shine!

        If you're lucky to be elected it will be the best year of your life and you won't regret the experience. And if you fall short and aren't elected, don't fret. As the saying goes, "if at first you don’t succeed, try again." Simply put, don't be afraid to try again. It's a great way to learn and an incredible experience to be part of. Colin Powell once said: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

         Good Luck!!! 




        Read past BPA Alumni Blog Posts in the Alumni Blog Archive

        Are you interested in learning about a specific topic / subject area that hasn't been covered yet? Simply contact us and we'll pull the knowledge and experience from our Alumni Division to help you out.

        BPA Alumni members interested in sharing your experience with today's students, are invited to contribute to the BPA Alumni Division Blog. For more information or to send in your submission, please contact Paige Loew at ploew@bpa.org



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