How to Prepare for Storm the Boardroom

By Taylor Toledo, Communications Committee

Storm the Boardroom is one of the crown jewels of Metro EDGE. It’s a great way to get reacquainted with EDGErs, meet new nonprofits, and flex your networking skills with a new pool of people: Board members. The term ‘board of directors’ sounds intimidating, but being a part of an organization in a board capacity is both personally and professionally rewarding.

Whether this is your first, second, or seventh time joining us for Storm the Boardroom, getting a refresh on best practices is always a good idea. Here are some things to keep in mind for Tuesday night:

The Night Before: Preparation

  • Brainstorm issues that you are passionate about: In other words, what would you change or advocate for, if money or time was no object?
  • Think about skills you’d like to develop: If your day job doesn’t allow you to foster new skills, consider a board position the perfect training ground for key leadership skills.
  • Be realistic: This is important. It is all too easy to over-commit to projects, especially those that you are passionate about and that could lead to professional development. Set a realistic expectation for yourself in how many hours you can donate per week to keep work/life balance a priority.

During the Event: Talking to Board Members

  • Ask important questions: What does your board structure look like? Is there financial responsibility? What does the time commitment look like? What do you need from a young professional as a board member? What is your mission, and what type of projects are you working on?
  • Ask more questions: What are your quarterly/year-long/five year goals? How far along are you on your development process?
  • Sell yourself: Like any networking event, only more. Develop and hone your elevator pitch, go over your career objectives, both short and long term, and then pitch the most important ones.

After the Event: The Art of the Follow Up

  • Mind your p’s and q’s: Pull out the business cards you’ve collected (you remembered to collect those, right?) and start preparing your thank you’s and nice to meet you’s. One point for emails, two for handwritten notes.
  • Continue researching: Just because you’ve left the event doesn’t mean that your interest has also fled. Continue to keep an eye on the boards and organizations you’re interested in, and stay in contact with key players in each.

Have you found a board to call home at one of our Storm the Boardroom events? What has been your experience in searching for a board placement as a young professional? And don't forget to register for Storm the Boardoom on 4/17!

Taylor Toledo is an Account Manager with 3fold Communications, specializing in higher education and healthcare marketing. She is also the 2018 Metro EDGE Communications Chair, a proud dog mom, and a not-quite-as-proud Netflix addict.