Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Monster Diversity Leadership Program

The weekend of the 5th, 6th of August I was at the Monster Diversity Leadership Program Conference at Towson University in Baltimore and like all my other conference experiences it was thrilling to be in the presence of such other great student minds. It really reminds you of why you're at school especially when hearing the students discuss their future dreams of grad school and owning their businesses (*ahem* that would be me) and so forth, plus the students were broken up into groups of different sponsors, my group (sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Booz-Allen-Hamilton) had all the Computer Science majors, so it was great finding out what other Comp. Sci. students were doing during their summer and discussing what languages we prefer and other geeky stuff like that.

What I liked about the conference was that its gimmick to keep it different from other student leadership conferences was to encourage the sponsor's representatives to "let loose" such as to have the students comfortable, and not be too stuck up all weekend, and to have a chance to party and behave wild with these industry professionals. At first I thought the idea was preposterous, then again it was quite entertaining watching the reps escape their comfort zone and dance around the place all weekend.

One thing that got on my nerves a little was that in order prove that one's group was superior, we were further encouraged to shout and scream all the time to "represent" our group. Now I thought that the NSBE National Conference was wild, but with all the shouting that carried on at the DLP, I was proved wrong, not only were we shouting every five minutes, but we shouted for no reason.

This is what happens when you have intelligent youth forced to behave urban, they do urban things for no reason, but I guess it was all in good fun. I would've participated in the senseless screaming but I was so tired from the prior week (blasted 2 hour commute) that I just gave up and let the other guys have it, plus there was no way I could've out-did one guy in my group, he got a scholarship for his "commitment" (he basically screamed the most) to the team. Scholarships and iPods galore were given away, unfortunately none were awarded to me (*background violin music*) but I had a great time nonetheless networking with the future leaders of tomorrow and the current leaders of today who had inspiring advice to give.

The saddest part of the weekend was meeting all these great people and knowing that I won't meet most of them ever in life again. That's what sucks about life, you meet great friends but sometimes you never see them again, I've had this feeling at every conference I've been to, so it's always good to stay in contact with everyone because you never know what you could be throwing away. Hopefully I could stay in touch with the few I met and exchanged the "makeshift" business cards from the conference with.

So it was great weekend (not to mention I got stupid-drunk on Saturday night and ended up at a room party and still woke up relatively early without a hangover, can someone say "veteran"), I insist that anybody who has the chance to go should apply, unless you have something more worthwhile to do on that weekend, if you're just going to be scratching at home, then take the opportunity to attend, you won't regret it.


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