Initially, the inner adventurous side of me joined AMA solemnly for the opportunity to attend the international conference that I was informed of when I attended a tabling event. This event was to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. As I attended my first three meetings, free of charge, I had come to the conclusion that joining the American Marketing Association would be more than worth the $95.00 membership fee I was to pay to officially become a member.
I attended the conference, free of charge, but I did not take this opportunity for granted. Our Vice President of ScramBULL did an amazing job putting together the event to raise funds to send our members to the American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference (AMAICC). Through sponsorships, donations, and hours of hard work and dedication we were able to raise over $11,000. These funds allowed twenty of our members to attend AMAICC, one of which was myself.
I decided I would attend conference a week before the date of departure. I originally hesitated because I was not close friends with any member who had registered to attend the conference. I did not want to be alone or get homesick. That was never the case. I shared a hotel room with three other girls - Ilyana, Gabi, and Lindsey. These three girls were nothing but amazing to me and each other. If I needed a bandaid, someone had one. If I need to go to the mall, someone came with me. Not once did I need a shoulder to cry on, but if I did I knew all three girls would offer up both of their shoulders. It was not just these girls that went out of their way to make me feel at home. All nineteen other members made sure to look out and care for one another as we embarked on our experiences in this new city. As the days went on, we attended seminars together, went to dinner together, and had fun together. Throughout my time in New Orleans, I thought I had just gotten lucky, lucky enough to have been able to room with such caring women.
By the third day, I came to the realization that my amazing time in New Orleans was not luck. It was just the first time in a long time that I genuinely felt like I was exactly where I needed to be. Not New Orleans, but surrounded by individuals who encourage me and inspire me to become the best business woman that I can be. Attending conference has become a turning point in my life for the better. AMA has provided me with genuine friendships and mentors that have positively helped shape my path towards success.