Lauren Kang, Financial Aid Loan Advisor at Community College of Aurora, was one of two winners of the DMCI (Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives) Scholarship to attend the RMASFAA Conference. Here are her thoughts on the experience!
Since there are so many great ways to learn new skills and network with peers in our financial aid world, I asked myself “what’s the benefit for me of attending this year’s RMASFAA conference?” I’ve got three top takeaways.
First and foremost, it was remarkable professional development opportunity for me. Financial aid field requires keeping up with constant changes and makes us life-long learners. With great sessions and activities, I could learn new ideas, interpretations, and better ways to serve our students with a variety of points of view. As a loan advisor at Community College of Aurora, I wanted to gain more knowledge on loan rehabilitation and 150% Subsidized Loan Limitation, so it was great to attend these sessions to update myself on new changes. In addition to that, every session offered very interesting topics that I wanted to learn in depth, so I had pleasant worries to decide which one to attend.
Second, RMASFAA offered a great networking opportunity to meet new people from novice to expert. Although going to a conference and meeting new people force me to break out of my comfort zone, RMASFAA conference, joined with CAFAA this year, was proving a great opportunity to meet new people in all financial aid areas, which became valuable resources for referrals and best-practices. Moreover, I had many chances to encounter new vendors and servicers that I had so much fun discovering innovative products and services for students and schools.
Last but not least, I had so much fun! Starting from welcome/opening keynote speaker presentation, it was full of energy and joy. Who wouldn’t have enjoyed the RMASFAA and CAFAA wedding ceremony? It was a brilliant idea to join the two conferences and moreover, gathering with like-minded individuals and sharing high-quality thoughts and ideas through rich discussions were not only pleasurable but also it was great way to maximize the investment of time and energy in RMASFAA conference.
I cannot thank RMASFAA Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives Committee (DMCI) enough for this great opportunity to attend this year’s RMASFAA conference as a scholarship recipient. I hope that RMASFAA will continue to represent more diverse individuals with a mixture of funds of knowledge.