Carolina on My Mind: Takeaways from the NCCCMA Conference

This is another entry in Rafael Baptista’s ongoing column, “Carolina on My Mind.” Rafael is a first year student at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Masters of Public Administration program.  

Background Check on NC City and County Management Association (NCCCMA)

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History: Part I and Part II

Connect: World Wide Web

The North Carolina City and County Management Association (NCCCMA) is the professional association for city and county managers and assistant managers from counties and municipalities throughout the State of North Carolina. Since 1938, the organization has worked to improve the quality of local government in this state. NCCCMA members subscribe to a high standard of professionalism, including conformance with the ICMA Code of Ethics.

Network, Network, Network

by Rafael Baptista, Connect: LinkedIn and Twitter

1556343_10152185435310289_1165357563_oLast week I had the privilege of attending the North Carolina City/County Management Associations 2014 winter conference. The conference served as a great networking, leadership development, and professional preparation event for my classmates and me.

The event began with an alumni breakfast for the UNC MPA program. It was a great chance to meet some of our fascinating alumni and listen to some great stories. Speed coaching with some great city/county managers followed breakfast. I had the opportunity to talk for 10 minutes individually with 10 different managers. They provided me great advice ranging from job search tips to strategies for how to effectively deal with elected officials.

gFrPMHXcI also had the opportunity to attend a roundtable for students in the various MPA programs in North Carolina. It was a great forurm for students to discuss the development and/or upcoming creation of ICMA student chapters with the state association. It was truly enlightening to see so many young, passionate future local government professionals. Keep an eye out for a wave of ICMA student chapters from North Carolina in the near future!

Due to internship interviews, I was only able to attend one of the panels during the day. I attended the panel on diversity in local government. It focused on discussing the age breakdown of local government professionals and the need for managers to balance managing both millennials and baby boomers in the workforce.

Major takeaways for me included the importance of networking, networking, and networking!

Many managers discussed how they got to where they were through hard work and by developing professional networks that supported them in moving up in their careers.  It was also amazing to see so many professionals dedicated to developing the next generation of local government professionals. I also appreciated the devotion to diversity showcased throughout the conference. The lunch keynote speaker Harry Jones gave an inspiring speech about the importance of advocating for diversity in local government.

 

 

I was blessed to be able to attend this amazing conference, even if only for one day. I know that I am better prepared to enter the local government workforce as a result and cannot wait to attend again next year.

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