When I first joined the MJ-LEL program, Immersion Weekend was mentioned often and I remember thinking, "Do I really have to go?" While I enjoyed the program, and gaining knowledge to transfer to my role, I did not think that Immersion Weekend was going to be such a significant part of my journey through this program. How is it possible that a 2-day event could be so important? Well, it was all about the connections I made while I was there. It was great to hear from those who have finished the program, employment lawyers who "schooled" us on their perspective, and the faculty/staff who put their all into the program. More importantly, the weekend was more than your normal networking event, it was about building connections and relationships.
At other conferences I've attended, I connected with people, but it was certainly for the timeframe of the conference and rarely beyond the last day. During Immersion Weekend, I connected with my peers more than I ever expected. Whether we were at taking a break to grab a bite to eat, discussing the panel we listened to, or riding together on the bus, you can tell that everyone had someone to connect with. We didn't just talk about our jobs, we talked about our families (and the crazy dynamics), our childhood, pets, hobbies, pet peeves, our personal struggles, why we chose HR, why we chose the MJ-LEL program etc. When you're spending a solid 2 days with the same people, you learn that we all ended up in HR and in the program for a reason. We're all hoping to make a difference! We all will in our own way and it's great to know that we have life-long connections, where we're able to lean on one another as a sounding board when needed.
Because this was more than a "let's connect on LinkedIn" event, I now understand why I met people who were there for the 2nd time. We're about 2 months post Immersion Weekend, I'm still in contact with my peers who I had strong connections with, I'm continuously referencing the topics that were discussed, and I'm sure I'm in good company when I say "I'd do it all again!"