This weekend as PRowl represented our firm, Temple PRSSA and Temple University at PRSSA National Conference, we all had the chance to meet members of other student run firms and their leadership. It quickly became apparent to me that the chance to network and learn from other student run firm members would be one of the most valuable parts of National Conference.
As a Student Run Firm Director, members within your firm and even those outside of your firm automatically have a set of expectations of you. These known and expressed expectations often cause us to react in certain ways: try and control every situation, micromanage, stay as on top of things as possible. These 6 takeaways that I brought back from National Conference help put the position into greater prospective, and may help current or future Firm Directors to do the same.
1. Understand and appreciate your team.
All student run firms are not created equal, and neither is the leadership within them. Over the weekend, I met at least a dozen student run firm directors, all with differently structured executive boards and leaderships. Understanding where each leader in your firm excels, and knowing what they aspire to do will determine the entire flow of your firm. If you aren't linked tight to the other team in your firm, no matter how strong of a leader you are as a Firm Director, the firm will always be missing something.
2. Always be learning.
You will never know it all, and you never should. Always be willing to listen to others, and reevaluate the way that you currently do things. While something may be working, that does not mean it is the most effective means of getting things done. Always be open to hearing new thoughts and suggestions, and really follow through to show you don't want to run the firm as a dictatorship.
3. Trust your expertise.
While you should always be learning from others, you should also speak about your own experiences and expertise with great confidence. If another Firm Director is struggling, don't second guess offering your own words of wisdom or piece of advice. You likely know much more than you ever thought you did.
4. Remember your goals.
Throughout conference weekend, sessions that had nothing to do with student run firms directly brought me back to the goals I'd set for PRowl. Always be on the look out for how a lesson you learn in everyday life can translate into helping you accomplish something for the firm. And if you haven't set concrete goals for your firm and position, use the stories and experiences of others to create your own.
5. Know you are not alone.
While our experiences are unique, many student run firm directors are battling similar issues. When asked what the greatest problems in our firms were, the majority of us responded with the same or similar answers. Don't put more pressure on yourself then necessary, and reach out for help when you needed. More often than not, someone else will be going through a similar trial, or has already overcome it and able to help you do the same.
6. Get connected, stay connected.
Student run firm directors have to stick together! As previously stated, we cannot do this alone --and there are so many of us, we shouldn't have to! Join Facebook Groups, or start your own, to connect with Firm Directors in your area and beyond. Host meet ups, or meet virtually with a few other Firm Directors to share your common experiences and grow together.