Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Dr. Aariel Charbonnet, Phi Theta Kappa’s Manager of Member Support and Outreach.
Since joining Phi Theta Kappa in January 2017 as a staff member, I have welcomed eight groups to the Center for Excellence for customized training. Currently, we have six more visits planned throughout the summer. Over the course of the last few months, I have learned some tips to maximize a team’s training experience at PTK Headquarters.
1. Schedule early.
- Oftentimes, it takes several weeks to secure travel and funding approval from your school’s administration.
- Determining a date and time that is mutually beneficial for Headquarters and your team requires planning. Email email@example.com as soon as possible to narrow down dates and times.
- The earlier Headquarters staff knows about your visit, the quicker we can handle the logistics.
2. Be specific and intentional with what training you’d like to receive.
Our goal is to customize every group’s visit to meet its specific needs. Collaborate with your advisor(s), officers, and members to find out where your team needs the most help.
For example, one of the more popular presentations is Honors in Action and College Project. My best advice is to share your topics and/or research questions with us prior to your visit, so we can tailor your training session to meet your group’s expectations.
The more specific you can make your questions about your chapter’s plan for the Honors Study Topic and/or College Project, the better! Share your questions as part of your initial request for training.
3. Provide details about your group.
- Are your officers new to PTK? New to the officer role?
- Do your officers know each other already? Are they working with each other for the first time?
- Have your officers held leadership positions before?
- What are your goals as a chapter/region/association?
- What officer positions do you currently have in place?
These details help our staff sharpen our focus, personalize our approach, and maximize the tangible and intangible benefits of your trainings.
4. Schedule at least 3-4 hours for a face-to-face visit.
Yes…four hours. It sounds like a lot, but believe me — time flies here. You’ll want to take complete advantage of the hours you spend at PTK Headquarters.
You’ll meet several staff members, interact with carefully selected individuals in one-on-one meetings, and learn more about what we do to support chapters, regions, Regional Coordinators, advisors, members, prospective members, alumni, and friends.
Plan time at the end of your visit to work on your group’s goals while at the Center. Do the work while you’re here and your momentum is high. It will pay off.
We like to talk! And we like YOU to talk! You’ll want to ask questions of every department you visit on the tour. Get answers about scholarship pointers, upcoming PTK events, transfer and career advice, and the like. The PTK network is expansive, and this is a good opportunity to leverage it.
5. Prepare for your visit by doing some research.
Do you know the name of our President and CEO? Do you know how many members we induct annually? Where and when was PTK founded? How is this relevant to our location for the 2018 international convention?
There may…or may not…be a pop quiz during your visit. (Don’t worry. Grades on this quiz will not affect your membership!)
I’ve found that some groups prepare for the visit on their drive to Headquarters. Road trip = Perfect opportunity to quiz each other on what you know about PTK.
To give you a glimpse of one team’s visit, here is a sample itinerary:
Tour of Headquarters
Breakout Session on Scholarships
11:50 a.m.-12: 45 p.m.
Breakout Session on Honors in Action and College Project
Competitive Edge and Chapter Officer Training
Breakout Session on Self-Presentation/Branding
Team Goals and Strategizing
If you are thinking of scheduling a visit to Headquarters, please consider these tips. We want your visit to be as meaningful as possible. To schedule a visit, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you soon!