2020 Club Leadership Summit Recap

The 13th annual Club Leadership Summit ran a little differently this year...it was completely virtual! The summit was scheduled to take place on April 3-4 in Chicago, IL but was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions. The staff at Reaching Out quickly reassessed how to continue the event and decided to make it virtual which allowed students from across the world to join. The summit brought together over 100 student leaders from 40+ clubs for an afternoon of education, inspiration, and connection on April 4th. The previous night, Reaching Out held a virtual happy hour for the attendees, allowing them additional time to connect with one another, play some LGBTQ-themed Jeopardy, and chat about current events.

The summit started off with a welcome address and organizational overview by Executive Director, Aidan Currie, then moved into Club Introductions where each club shared goals for the next year and their past achievements. The introduction session is an integral part of the summit because it gives folks the space to talk about what works well for their club and creates opportunities for them to connect with others who are doing events that they'd like to duplicate. The next session was titled Generating Revenue and Managing Expense; or how to create innovative and secure ways to generate revenue for your club in order to hold more events. Two former club leaders from Emory-Goizueta and Harvard Business School discussed how to plan a club budget and manage the expenses that a club may accrue.

During lunch, attendees were broken up into rooms and given prompts to discuss including most importantly, how they have been affected by and handling the impacts of COVID-19.

Following lunch was a session about working with school administration and affinity groups to accomplish club goals. The panel consisted of former and current club leaders from University of Rochester-Simon and London Business School, and Administration staff from University of Minnesota-Carlson to talk about how to drive and implement change. This included working on partnering with other affinity groups to hold events for incoming or prospective students, getting pronoun stickers for events, and connecting with school administration to design gender-neutral bathrooms and adopting pronouns in email signatures.

Next up was the ROMBA Presentation, presented by three members of the 2020 ROMBA Organizers team. They talked about how current students can get involved (by volunteering or becoming a session director), what they can expect from ROMBA this year (which includes a new media & entertainment track), and how to prepare for the event (upload your resume to our Job & Resume database and research participating companies).

The final session of the day focused on recruiting students and alumni. The stacked panel included two administrators from University of Minnesota-Carlson, a McKinsey Consultant and former club leader at Columbia Business School, and club leaders from UCLA-Anderson and Dartmouth College-Tuck. They discussed several aspects of recruitment: when to connect with prospective students and hold introductory events for them, where to find alumni and what sort of asks are appropriate to make, and how to make the club accessible and inclusive for all involved parties.

The 2020 Leadership Summit was the first virtual event held by Reaching Out and proved to be a success! Moving to a virtual model turned out to be a great way to connect the greater Reaching Out community and made a new record for number of attendees for this event.

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