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The Reach

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3 Ways You’ll Benefit from Seeking International Office

3 Ways You’ll Benefit from Seeking International Office

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by 2017-2018 International Officer candidate Moon Detering, now an alumnus of Portland Community College in Oregon.

Each year at PTK Catalyst, Phi Theta Kappa members gather to celebrate our hard work in making society a better place. If you take it one step further, running for office during PTK Catalyst is a wonderful journey of self-discovery that allows you to reflect inwardly but also polish your people skills.

As a former candidate, I encourage you to run for office at PTK Catalyst 2018. Regardless of whether you are elected, you will benefit from this incredible experience in a number of ways.

You’ll Become a Better Person

Running for international office makes you a better person. I know this because the first time I read the candidate guidelines, my whole heart and mind told me that if I wanted to be qualified, I would have to become the person in the guidelines. It challenges you to spend some time discovering yourself; and when you ask for recommendation letters from your advisor and instructors, it’s a real self-realization moment.

I am grateful to my advisors, DeLinda Martin-Huggins and Mandy Ellertson, and to Dr. Michael Santlanor, who wrote my letters of recommendation. Sometimes you don’t realize the qualities you possess until you see yourself through your advisors’ eyes. The more compliments you receive, the better you want to be — because PTK is a place where individuals reach and go beyond their potential.

You’ll Become a More Professional Person

Running for international office offers unique professional training that will prepare you for a career. You will learn how to promote yourself to more than 4,000 intelligent people. You will have an opportunity to speak in public and dress and behave professionally throughout this challenging campaign.

Running for international office has made me a more professional person. Candidates receive guidance from staff members, who walk you through the process step by step. After I had my headshot photo taken and attended the pre-convention training and webinars, I immediately started to feel more confident and professional.  

Once you arrive at PTK Catalyst, you’ll find yourself in the spotlight at the live Candidate Caucus interview. Everyone in the audience focuses their attention on you, and every one of them wants to get to know you. Although you don’t know the questions in advance, you’ll see that every question gives you a chance to succeed.

You will have so many opportunities to meet fun, brilliant, and inspirational individuals — fellow candidates, voting delegates, and members from around the world. In the end, they all become your friends as you get to know them and talk with them face to face.

You’ll Become a Leader

You will also bond with your own campaign team. When you start to tell people you’re running, friends volunteer to campaign for you. My campaign manager, Chelsea, advisor, DeLinda, and campaign team were my biggest supporters. I was so honored that all four Portland Community College campuses and our Rocky Mountain-Cascade Regional Officers collaborated.

These people will sacrifice their time, efforts, and energy unconditionally to help you. If you are dedicated to running for international office, you will also find others who will support you even though you haven’t met.

Even if you decide not to run for international office, I hope everyone seeks out leadership opportunities in your own community, regardless of what they are. Self-discovery comes with self-improvement, and we cannot have self-improvement if we are focused inward. It comes when we focus outward, engage with others, and give of ourselves. Savor the challenges in life. Get on that bus — even if you’re afraid — work hard, and go for it! 

If there is an opportunity, it is always wise to take it. Take both the successes and the failures, because failures are not endings, but opportunities to improve. Remember that here at PTK, we are all cheering you on.

Learn more about the benefits of running for international office and view the campaign guidelines online. Applications are due February 21.

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