So I have a wonderful dog named Maggie (you’ve met her in a previous blog). And through the years, my other pets, Charlie, Baby Nibs, Socks, Taffy, Callie (aka Kitty), Cookie, and Rebel, have all positively impacted my life. But having pets does not make me a pet expert. And watching a game from your couch does not make you a football, basketball, or baseball expert. And just because you have dated or may be happily married does not make you a romance expert Face it -- we can’t be the “expert” at everything. And we all need “experts” (real ones, not the ones who just think they are!) to help us problem-solve, learn, and grow in our personal and professional lives. This past weekend I had the great opportunity to share my “expertise” at the SAVMA (Student American Veterinary Medical Association) Symposium hosted by Texas A&M Veterinary School. You heard me -- I presented at a conference for future vets! And trust me -- I am as far from a vet as you can get! But this fantastic conference (planned and implemented by a group of unbelievable students) reached out to “experts”- not only in the field of veterinary medicine, but in any and all fields that contribute to the profession. So this blog is my big thank-you note (remember my blog about the importance of sending thank-you notes? ) to SAVMA, the Aggies (students and faculty) who planned, ran, and supported the conference, the many “experts” who presented, and the enthusiastic conference attendees who all understand the value of reaching outside of a profession to find “experts” to support the development of these future vets. Of course the conference offered many, many highly respected experts in veterinary medicine who shared valuable information, research, and methods beneficial to all participants. But then the conference went even further and offered experts in business, finance, marketing, and professional development as well as in wellness and diversity. Imagine being able to attend a lecture on swine reproduction, participate in a hands-on wet lab about ultrasounds, interact with others while learning about contract negotiations, discuss diversity and inclusion in a roundtable format, and collaborate to discover the best teaching strategies to use with clients (my workshop!) all in one day. And don’t forget that you also could attend a yoga class, play badminton in the courtyard, or take a coloring break to help with your mental health and then attend evening activities to socialize with other students and future colleagues. Although I wish that all professional training programs offered conferences like this one (and many do!), this blog’s communication strategy is simple -- etc Strategies believes you should find a way to include “experts” outside of your field to offer innovative ideas, to help in problem-solving, to train on methods that are beneficial, and to provide a fresh perspective on issues. But then you must go one step further -- find the best communication opportunity for these experts to share -- in-house meetings, scheduled trainings, brainstorming sessions, or even professional conferences like the SAVMA Symposium. So thanks again to those Aggies who invited me to share my “expertise”! And although my workshop participants did their very best to share information with me, I’m still not even close to being a pet expert!! But after learning from so many “experts” (both in and out of the veterinary field), these future vets will be ready and willing to become the next generation of “experts”! And I can’t wait to use them!