They may all be on summer vacation – but that doesn’t stop the members of the WashingtonExec College and High School Leadership Committee from learning more about personal branding and their future professional careers.
Unlike previous meetings, the event was held in a TED Talk-style format – one room for high school students and another for college students – and they listened to two different sessions led by keynote speakers Steve Radloff, of ManTech International, and Claire Morse, SPHR, JD, of Salient CRGT.
Steve Radloff, Executive Director of Security at ManTech, spoke to the two breakout groups on the dos and don’ts of the security clearance process and SF-86 Forms.
Radloff explained to students how one’s eligibility for a clearance is based on you as a whole person – not just one mistake you made when you were 15 years old, or strictly a polygraph test.
He also discussed the new “continuous monitoring” method that has been adopted by the government – a practice that routinely checks on the eligibility and suitability of those with security clearances.
Morse, Director of Human Resources at Salient CRGT, gave the group tips on how to develop your own professional elevator pitch. When it comes to mastering it? Morse says, “the earlier, the better.”
She describes the ideal elevator pitch to be “versatile, universal, diligent,” and between 30 to 60 seconds long.
According to Morse, there are four components to developing the perfect pitch. First, you must introduce yourself. Second, explain what you do – are you a member of any organizations? Do you have a leadership role in that organization? Third, develop your statement of impact – your passions, strengths, what you would bring to the company. Lastly, give your call to action – what next opportunity are you looking for?
“This event was time well spent for any young business person. The WashingtonExec College/High School Leadership event provided students with a great networking opportunity,” says Kalista Majoros, rising freshman at the University of Florida. “Students gained advice from experienced speakers regarding one’s personal brand and how to navigate the security clearance process. Not only did I make rewarding connections, but I learned key tips in becoming a better business woman.”
Although not their second time meeting as a group, the event was the second time parents of the students were invited to come and participate in the Q&A discussion with speakers at the end of the night.
“The WashingtonExec Events are a great way to network and interact with other young adults in the government space,” says Jake Singer, a rising senior at James Madison University. “I was able to meet several new people and also reconnect with people who I had grown up with but lost contact with since going away to college.”
The WashingtonExec College and High School Leadership Committee is set to meet again this December.