SAALOG Stories - Conferences & Visitor Services
Conferences & Visitor Services has established learning outcomes for our summer conferences supervisors. Using our Performance Evaluation Rubric, last year, 100% of our supervisors were able to meet our learning outcomes.
At the completion of training and working with Conferences & Visitor Services, supervisors will receive a good rating in the following performance factors:
• Exhibiting professionalism through verbal communication, body language, and appearance.
• Displaying competence through preparedness, explaining policies, and resourcefulness.
• Demonstrating independence with reliability, organizational skills, and time management abilities.
• Showing teamwork through building relationships, being accountable, and displaying empathy.
• Exhibiting leadership in the areas of supervision, trustworthiness, and communication.
• Demonstrating critical thinking skills through problem-solving, innovation, and flexibility.
Class of 2017
"My three summers spent working with C&VS have had an impact on my professional development in more areas than I expected. I knew it would improve upon my communication and customer service skills - any anxiety around making phone calls was dissipated after my first few weeks and I felt confident in being able to make small talk with people from diverse backgrounds. I feel comfortable presenting in front of crowds large or small, and understand the balance between being strict and playful when supervising others. However, the professional guidance I received from the rounds of evaluations and the training sessions that I sat through have also stuck with me in my first year in the workforce.
I work as a teacher in Accra, Ghana, and I have been able to note progress as well as areas still in need of improvement based on the feedback I received when working with C&VS. I distinctly remember being called a “feeler” by my manager Malia, and learned that I am a social communicator during one of the first trainings as a supervisor. I have been able to see those traits manifest in my current workplace and, because of my time with C&VS, am able to utilize the positive parts of those traits in my professional relationships. Furthermore, working in Ghana, a country with a tropical climate, demands knowing how to dress in a work-appropriate manner when it’s 80+ degrees, so having worked throughout the hot College Park summers definitely prepared me on that front!"
Class of 2017
"I am truly grateful for my experience working with Conferences & Visitor Services. I was a summer employee with C&VS for 4 summers, beginning as a Night Associate during the summer of 2013, and ending as an Assistant Hospitality Manager – one of the highest-level student position within the organization – during the summer of 2016.
As a summer employee, the professional staff provided the student staff with a great deal of responsibility that contributed to personal and professional growth, which is why I continued to return each summer. This method of added and increasing responsibility taught me how to be accountable for my actions, how to communicate with guests, clients, and other professionals, and how to work efficiently to alleviate and respond to issues. With the skills I’ve gained, I was able to continue to grow into the Assistant Hospitality Manager position, where I served as a resource for a staff of 60 student assistant employees indirectly, and 3 direct reporting supervisors. I was able to lead my team of supervisors, and motivated them to lead their individual teams, that consisted of the assistant employees, in order to promote, welcome, engage, and facilitate a memorable experience for the thousands of guests we served during the summer. The professional staff at C&VS are truly amazing in developing student leaders to reach their fullest potential, and preparing us for our transition into the work force.
I am currently a human resources employee at a law firm in Baltimore, and one specific example of a critical skill that I gained from working at C&VS that I continue to use daily are my communication skills, specifically with conflict. I learned that conflict is not necessarily a bad word, but during my second summer, I was a Hospitality Supervisor and had to conduct a tough performance evaluation for one of my friends who I supervised on my team. I was nervous about this evaluation and practiced tirelessly on the best way to communicate the performance issues. I conducted the evaluation with Malia Witherspoon and it went extremely well. I allowed the employee to speak on her strengths and area of improvements, then I provided what I thought her strengths and areas of improvements were and how I could help her improve. This was one of my first experiences dealing with conflict in a professional setting and it taught me to be comfortable discussing issues that may be sensitive to others, how to communicate effectively and how to resolve conflicts. In my role now, I am completely comfortable challenging my superiors professionally, and working through conflicts that arise in order to produce a successful end goal for our employees, clients, and staff.
The foundational skills I gained by working with C&VS have been invaluable to my progress in the workforce. And I know I can always depend on the professional staff at C&VS as a resource for my continual professional development. "