Become Your City’s Best Advocate

Take your seat, click in the belt and await the flight attendants last few words before takeoff. Adventure is about to begin.

Travel is a unique element to any group setting. Something about going away to a new place brings a sense of levity, openness, curiosity, fear, and at the same time, courage. Infuse all those emotions into the relationship-building opportunity that is Study Mission, and you’ve got networking. On crack.

The Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce’s annual Study Mission is an incredibly valuable experience. Not only are you headed to a national city of interest to hear from regional and industry experts on a range of topics, but you’re spending time with fellow Sacramentans - Sacramentans from diverse industries who’ve shown an interest in or have advanced our city’s development, prosperity and sense of community, and who want to do more of it. If you’re of the same inclination, there’s no better place to be. Especially when trapped with them on a plane, bus or even boat for an extended period of time.

Besides that, which is a lot unto itself, you also have lined up behind-the-scenes tours and unique lectures (like a two-hour, guided tour of Brooklyn’s massive port-side park, or an intimate discussion with the founders of Etsy). You’re fed well (like game sausage from an innovative restaurant / maker’s space in the heart of Brooklyn, and a three-course meal atop a rooftop garden on the borough’s Naval base). But most importantly, you quite assuredly come back an even more energized community organizer for your own city. Beaming with ideas, fact-checked with best-lessons learned, and connected to a host of doers, you become our city’s best advocate. When I say, “Study Mission,” you say, “yes!”

Tips and tricks for Study Mission success:

Know your travel companions and speakers.

The Metro Chamber puts effort in providing you the trip’s rundown in advance- complete with speaker bios and background info on the trips’ points of interest-in addition to a list of fellow Study Mission goers, their titles and places of work. Get to know who’s on your trip. Make it a point to identify five people with whom you’d like to engage over the trip’s three- to four-day span. Have a few prepared questions for sessions with speakers. Now’s your time to ask.

Small talk is inevitable, but it’s not easy for everyone.

To make it easier, check out more than 40 questions to help prepare and ease you into conversation.

Rest up. And go out.

While there’s plenty of opportunity to engage travelers throughout the day, a lot can happen outside of the daily schedule. Let FOMO take over and make sure you take advantage of the evening’s organized activities. Or make your own. Use playtime as a further step to develop professional and personal relationships, whether that be goofing off at the nearby bowling alley or enjoying wine-tasting with select folks.

At the same time, be sure to take care of yourself throughout the trip with little breaks and room to breathe, whether that’s a 20-minute retreat to your hotel room or a morning run by yourself or just a little quiet time to check emails. Keeping up appearances can be exhausting, and you don’t want to drag through any of the insightful sessions.

Write it down. Follow up.

While in the thick of it, you might be so entertained you aren’t taking notes. Do so. You’d be surprised at what a few details down on paper can do to help recall to memory content six-months post Study Mission. There are people to follow, programs to research, ideas to bring into reality.

Upon return, take time to write up an email or send a card to a few people with whom you wish to keep up with now that you’re back at home. A little message can stand out and keep the doors open for future collaboration or employment.

Study Mission is just one program carried by the Chamber. If you haven’t already, you’ll soon learn that the Chambers’ programs feed one another and that it’s easy to find yourself down a rabbit hole of events, mixers, leadership training and more. All to better equip you down the road ahead.

This is a guest blog post by Tashina Brito. Tashina  is currently the Community Relations Manager at Capital Public Radio. Having worked formerly for the Midtown Business Association, she continues to promote community engagement by way of marketing, special events and regional partnerships. Tashina serves on Metro Edge’s Leadership Council as the Emerge Summit Co-Chair and is a member of Leadership Sacramento class of 2018. A farm-to-fork kind of gal, she grows food and raises chickens at her West Sac home.

Want to attend Study Mission? Apply for a Leading EDGE financial award. Leading EDGE financial awards give active Metro EDGE members the opportunity to participate in signature Metro Chamber programs for the purpose of building connections, learning leadership and fostering economic prosperity. Since many young professionals are challenged by limited resources in their pursuit to gain the very resources they need to better their careers and communities, Metro EDGE established the Leading EDGE award program to gift funds to support its members participation. Learn more about Leading EDGE or apply for an award here. The deadline to apply is July 12th.