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From Student to Professional: Top Five Benefits of Volunteering and Involvement


MPI Toronto Chapter On April 9, 2018

Zaman IshaadAs a recent graduate entering the meetings and events industry, I relished the opportunity to get involved with MPI Toronto. In my favourite class Meetings and Convention Management taught by Professor Judy Healy, I was exposed to MPI Toronto which ultimately made me join as a student member. Little did I know, about the opportunities that would open with my membership. 

At my first event not knowing anyone, I was astonished by how many connections I had made, including my friend, Lynn Miedzik and mentor, Carly Silberstein. My volunteer involvement has allowed me to connect with professionals in a community that prides itself in helping others out. In this article, I have listed five reasons of how my volunteer experience and involvement has been beneficial to me: 

1. Network. Along with attending various events, I grew my networking immensely through volunteering for MPI Committees. As committees work together, members create long-lasting friendships. I’m currently on the Communications Committee and I still cherish my friendships with the members of the 2016 Holiday Gala Committee. MPI Toronto also has a Buddy Program, which allows experienced members to personally welcome new members and introduce them to other members in the association. 

2. Mentor/Mentee Opportunities. With different expertise and backgrounds, there are many industry professionals who are ready to help out. My network consists of many supportive hoteliers and planners who helped me with advice on networking and volunteering. Volunteering for the Holiday Gala Committee, I met Rachel Stark, a graduate from Ryerson University. Rachel inspired me with her work ethic and support, which resulted in her winning the 2016 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. I have made a personal commitment to help recruit (few students so far) and support students passionate about a career in the industry. 

3. Professional Experience. With various roles on different committees, everyone has the opportunity to develop professional skills in contribution to developing programming for MPI Toronto. Suppliers, Planners, Retirees and Students all work together to engage members. Along with professional experience, a key aspect of volunteering is relationship building which is crucial to our industry. We all have the opportunity to develop leadership skills and my next step is to become a Committee Chair.    

4. Accomplishments. With my commitment to volunteering, I have achieved industry accolades including writing an article in meeting magazine and conducting a research study with MPI Toronto. My main accomplishment is creating relationships with industry professionals and receiving advice regarding career growth. I truly believe I have a bright future with my involvement in MPI Toronto. In the past two years, I received the 2016 Norm Neill Student of the Year award, 2017 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year award and $750 CMP Scholarship. 

5. Business and Partnerships. In my role as an event planner at Ryerson University, I had the opportunity to work with Diane Julien, Owner of Really Fabulous Events Company. In the process, I built a relationship with Diane and her amazing company to provide services at our events. I plan to use my MPI Toronto network to create new partnerships and conduct business with other members. 

I can’t wait for what the future entails with my continued membership and involvement at MPI Toronto. Lastly, I would like to give a special thank you to those who have helped me with their continued support. Judy Healy, Carly Silberstein, Rachel Stark, Tania Ferlin, Amy Tough, Tammy Bradley, Leslie Wright and many others!

Zaman Ishaad, Hospitality and Tourism Management, B.Comm Graduate - Ryerson University, Reservation Sales and Email Specialist - Four Seasons Corporate Office Toronto 


 

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