11 Things Students Can't Miss at the 2018 ICMA Annual Conference

Must-attend sessions and events, must-see films, and can't-miss exhibits.

ARTICLE | Jun 27, 2018

The ICMA Student Chapter Program and first-time attendee scholarships, coupled with waived registration fees for students, has drawn a steadily growing audience of emerging public service professionals to the ICMA Annual Conference every year. This year, ICMA is offering a robust lineup of sessions, activities, and events designed to help students develop beyond the limits of the classroom, give them opportunities to network, and provide insight into developments in local government management. Additionally, many sessions and events that were not designed specifically for students are based around hot topics to keep students engaged and involve them as viable voices in conversations with conference attendees at different career stages. This year's conference is sure to be one to remember. Below is a list of must-attend sessions and events, must-see films, and can't-miss exhibits for future public servants. Visit the ICMA Annual Conference webpage for a comprehensive list of conference activities. 

11. Power Imbalances: Implementing Integrity in the Workplace | Tuesday, September 25, 2 - 3 p.m.

This session will explore the impact and consequences of sexual harassment and gender bias in local government organizations. Learn how best to identify and handle these harmful behaviors before they result in a loss of talent and trust. 

10. Show Me Democracy (film) | Monday, September 24, 1:30 - 3 p.m. & Tuesday, September 25, 2 - 3:30 p.m.

Amid the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri, seven St. Louis college students evolve into advocates and activists as they demand change through policy and protest.

9. Project Implicit | Monday, September 24, 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.

Implicit bias refers to the attitudes and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control that affect our conceptions, actions, and decisions. This session, cosponsored by the Local Government Hispanic Network and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, will examine how implicit bias affects our everyday decisions and teach you how to unlearn some of your implicit biases. 

8. Networking Mixer: All Hands on Deck | Sunday, September 23, 7 - 9 p.m.*

Join ICMA, Emerging Local Government Leaders, the League of Women in Government, and other friends for a mix and mingle with managers, up-and-comers, students, and everyone in between. All are invited to this Sunday evening event following the Welcoming Reception. Wear your name badge and bring your business cards! Although this event is free, registration is required, and space is limited.

7. Modern Approaches to Overcoming Social Inequities | Monday, September 24, 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.

Explore how technology enables communities to leverage scarce resources to aid their less fortunate residents in such areas as homelessness, affordable housing, access to health care, and the opioid epidemic. Presented by Esri

6. ICMA Research Seminar for Pracademics and Students | Sunday, September 23, 10 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Join academics, practitioners, and managers who teach ("pracademics") for research presentations in this mini-conference-in-a-conference on Sunday. Listen to current research, offer input for student and faculty pitches, suggest research needs in the profession, and generally get studious. Mortarboards not required. 

5. Professional Photo Station | See Member Pavilion hours

Get rid of those blurry, unprofessional, outdated photos on your professional social media! Visit this booth in the exhibit hall to get your photo taken care of and give your profile an instant facelift. 

4. Student Chapter Meeting | Monday, September 24, 4 - 5 p.m.

It's the largest student chapter meeting of the year! Come network with other student chapter members. Learn about professional development efforts, social events, and academic events at other schools.

3. Ethics: Moving from Theory to Reality | Monday, September 24, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

All MPA students are invited to join this session led by Martha Bennett, a member of ICMA's Committee on Professional Conduct, and Professor Kurt Thurmaier. Come ready to explore and resolve ethical issues in local government. After the session, go have lunch together and keep the dialogue alive!

2. So, You've Gotten Your MPA: What to Do When the Jobs Don't Come to You | Tuesday, September 25, 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. 

Although you may feel prepared to step into your dream position, transitioning from student to professional isn't always easy. Learn how to take advantage of your employment gap, supplement your education by getting involved locally, navigate the highs and lows of the job search, and stay energetic throughout the process. 

1. Speed Coaching | Sunday, September 23, 10 - 11:45 a.m. *

Speed Coaching is back in Baltimore! Have career questions and want to get or give a different perspective? This is the session for you! Registration is complimentary for this high-energy coaching and networking event, but spots are limited. And we're also seeking coaches. 

*Denotes events and sessions that require preregistration.


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