With elected officials in Washington still battling over budget negotiations, it’s refreshing to see a group recognized for their contributions to a global society. I’m talking of course about the Nobel Prizes, which have been, and continue to be, awarded to notable citizens of the world – citizens who have dedicated a substantial amount of time and effort to making this world a better place. It’s times like these when I think we can all be challenged to take a step back and reflect – consider why we work in the industry that we do and ruminate on the effect we hope to have on the people with whom we interact. A list of the laureates and their accomplishments can be found at the Nobel Prize website.

Speaking of the government shutdown, I ran across this article on Affinity Insights, which takes a deeper look at the government shutdown and considers its implications for the association world from a membership perspective. The author implores association leaders to be cognizant of shutdown effects on their members and to adjust the membership structure accordingly. Among the article’s many suggestions is; when payment time comes around, it might be a kind gesture to extend the due date to loyal members. This and other small gestures could help to foster improved relationships in the future.

In considering marketing options for the newly employed Generation Y, you can never stress enough the importance of social media. This article takes a look at the current state of social media usage in the association world, considers where it may be lacking, and offers suggestions for future improvement. Reaching out to the millennial generation is best done in a web-based forum, so beefing up your offensive line in that arena is going to be integral to a successful membership strategy.

According to a 2013 membership marketing report, around half of all associations offer a student membership – so why is it that there are so few of them that employ an organizational structure that includes a specific student outreach strategy? It is fair to say that students aren’t looking for the same resources as full-time professionals. Students are looking for insight, for opportunity and for learning experiences. They are looking for entry-level job opportunities and internships, not seminars on tackling the roles of upper-management. This article offers valuable insight on how to tailor strategy to reach out to the needs of students and how to grow with them as they enter the workforce.

In an effort to speak for fellow interns across the association world and to assume my self-assigned role as intern-spokesperson, I’m including this next article. Interns are a truly valuable resource for any company – they can offer fresh perspective and unbridled talent. They are often at the beginnings of their professional lives and are ready to be molded into the professional that your company needs. That being said, they deserve proper recognition and should be treated as professionals in the workplace. Check out this article on the Intern Bill of Rights to learn a bit more!

While this isn’t exactly related to the association world, I felt as though it’s content was applicable to any industry. Perhaps my perspective is a bit jaded because I’m still in the world of academia, but it seems to me that the joy of learning should never end simply because there is no classroom. It should be a constant and lifelong process that brings with it both happiness and fulfillment. While there may not always be an accessible way to learn, this article offers some insight on the characteristics of he self-directed learner.

Well, that’s about it for this week – have a great holiday weekend! And, if you’re feeling a bit rebellious, maybe you can head out and enjoy some of the national parks and monuments – these people sure have!