As part of the candidacy requirements, we all have to answer four predetermined questions, with answers being posted at regular intervals on the campaign webpage. As this is in a members-only area of the SLA website, I decided to share my answers here as well.
Q.1:”When did you first join SLA? What made you decide to join then and why do you still belong today?”
In the summer of 2012, the company my husband works for gave him the opportunity to move from London to New York city. Having spent much of my childhood in the Middle East (in Muscat, Oman), I knew that living and working abroad would be a fantastic experience for us, and we were happy to accept. Like countless others before me, I arrived in New York with no job, no friends and no contacts. However, as a good information professional I’d done some research in advance, so I knew that joining SLA would help change all that.
Attending my first SLA New York happy hour I was introduced to the chapter’s then President-Elect, Nick Collison, and he invited me to join his program planning group. Program planning quickly turned into conference organizing and a spot on NY’s pilot Board Mentee program (which I’m delighted to say is now in its third year), before I was nominated as chapter President-Elect myself. Meanwhile, curiosity about SLA’s divisions led me to get involved with communications for LMD, and I’m currently serving as their Communications Chair.
Being nominated as a candidate for Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect was a huge personal honour, but more significantly it was a huge testament to the impact which SLA has had on my professional life. I have achieved so much more in the last three and a half years than I would ever have imagined possible, and most of that is directly thanks to SLA. Belonging to this association has given me opportunities to develop as a leader, the support I needed to take up those opportunities, and, most importantly, has enabled me to meet and work with a huge number of talented and inspiring people.
So far, I’ve clearly been a beneficiary of all that SLA membership has to offer, and I’ve been quite overwhelmed by the generosity of more seasoned members – I don’t know of any other organisation where people are so approachable, and so willing to offer help and advice to newer colleagues. As I become more experienced within SLA, and as my own career gets back on track, I find it deeply rewarding to be able to start giving back to the association – by serving as a leader, by mentoring other members, and by offering whatever support and advice I can to whomever needs it. I am so proud to be part of SLA at this transformational time for the association, and I will continue to be a member for as long as there’s a contribution for me to make.
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