by Amber Owens
It was a life-changing experience. Getting to hear from other social media experts in higher education felt a lot like coming home. I was encouraged to hear that I wasn’t alone in the things I dealt with on the job– there was an entire community of people out there who were just like me. Not only was I validated and understood, but I was welcomed. I expected to feel like an impostor in a room full of geniuses, but I didn’t; instead I felt both recognized and inspired.
During my time at the conference, I took part in presentations that both supported the work I was already doing and stimulated my creative side. I came back to my office with pages and pages of notes and ideas, ready to hit the ground running, and my team offered nothing but support. Since returning home, I’ve been able to roll out several new university-wide projects, and I’ve also built connections with our students on a deeper level than ever before. I can easily say that not a week goes by where I don’t reference something that I learned or heard at eduWeb 2019, and my university has benefitted so much from it.
Attending eduWeb as a scholarship recipient opened my eyes to so many opportunities that were at my fingertips, ready for the taking, and the perspective that I found in those presentations and discussions with other professionals was more than I ever could have hoped for out of my first conference experience. Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to attend, and I would probably still be feeling somewhat alone in my job. This year, a new group of scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to have their career transformed by eduWeb, just like I did, so if you’ve been thinking about applying but have hesitated, I can only say this: there is no reason why you shouldn’t, and every reason why you should.
Amber Owens is the Social Media Manager at Indiana Tech and a recipient of the 2019 eduWeb Scholarship for Developing Professionals.