Student Society Leaders' Day at Accenture

7 Feb 2017

A few months ago, I visited Accenture's London offices along with forty or so other student society leaders from all over the UK, whose societies are also sponsored by Accenture. The day was packed with various workshops on aspects of personal development and leadership, tailored to a student setting, as well as a tour of their innovation hub (filled with a robot, Amazon Echo + more).

Here is a summary of what I learnt, along with some personal commentary.

Leadership

  • Know what drives each of your committee members. Why did they volunteer to be on the committee?

  • Ask for help, as opposed to assigning tasks directly.

  • Be proactive to find projects for your society to get involved in.

  • Networking is key.

  • Skills that you will gain as a leader (I can most definitely relate to this!)

    • Paying attention to detail (being analytical), but not losing sight of the bigger picture (being a thought leader).

    • Working with clients (other societies, sponsors, organisations, your university).

    • Planning and organisation

    • Time management

    • Communication (verbal and written)

    • Public speaking

    • Stamina for difficult environment (sometimes tense, other times fast-paced)

Your Personal Brand

  • 'Social media is your digital tattoo.'

  • Gauge your impact by using Klout. See my blog post on Klout here!

  • Engage your followers and people in your network

  • Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date (check out mine!)

    • Don't forget to fill in the skills section

    • Your summary should be an overview of your skills + what you are looking for

    • Ensure that your profile picture is a good quality headshot

    • Do not use buzzwords!

    • Try to publish a post once a week

Running Events for Your Student Society

  • Think about the purpose of the event and ensure that it is at the forefront of planning each aspect of the event.

  • The title of the event should reflect its purpose.

  • If the event is large, and something your society may want to hold annually, consider creating a logo specifically for it.

  • Make sure each event has a hashtag, and encourage your committee and attendees to use it.

  • Who is your target audience for a particular event? Have you thought about other commitments they may have that day? Exams, sports events and events run by other societies may clash with yours, so be careful when you are scheduling the day and time of your event!

  • The venue in which your event is held should be relevant to the event. If you are holding a workshop, a classroom with tables be suitable. If you are screening a movie or hosting a lecture, use a lecture theatre.

  • Be aware of the size of the venue and its capacity. A small room which is full is better than a large one which is half empty!

  • Know that you can hold events at your sponsors' offices for free, as long as they are outside of working hours. Just liaise with the same people with whom you discuss your sponsorship agreement and they will make necessary arrangements. I was not aware of this and was really happy to hear it!

  • Do not forget to ask for dietary and access requirements when selling event tickets.

  • A way to ensure that people show up to events they have registered for is by asking them to pay a deposit which will be returned to them in cash at the event.

  • On the day, ensure you have volunteers to:

    • greet/register attendees

    • greet the speakers and make sure they are comfortable

    • check the A/V systems

    • set up the stage

    • buy/set up refreshments

    • clear up at the end of the event

    • ...and always have an extra pair of hands!

  • Evaluate your events

    • send all attendees a link to an anonymous feedback form

    • thank your speakers and ask them for feedback too

    • debrief with the organising committee

I hope this is of benefit to someone, and thank you to Accenture for running an incredibly insightful day!


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