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AMS Virtual 2020: Conference Buddy Program

The AMS Committee on Career–Related Issues (CCRI) will once again be sponsoring a "Conference Buddy Program" at the Annual Meeting. This program is designed to extend a warm and hearty welcome to new members or those attending a national meeting for the first time by pairing them with experienced members of the Society to help break some of the formal "ice" and demystify the meeting in both the social and professional realm.

Mentor

Coordinators
Deborah Heckertwill coordinate the program this year. Any attendees who would like to have a "conference buddy" or any AMS members wishing to serve as conference mentor should first register for the conference, and then complete the online buddy registration form below by 21 October 2020.

Purpose
The intent of the Conference Buddy Program is to offer a simple and informal means at the Annual Meeting for established AMS members to welcome and briefly connect with newer members of the organization – and to open a door or two for additional social and professional interaction for the less-experienced attendees who may find the conference experience intimidating.

Some ways the conference buddy might assist the newer AMS member include: being a friendly and supportive contact shortly before, during, and perhaps after the meeting; answering questions about the structure of the AMS, the purposes of the conference, and how these goals take place in the various forums (paper sessions, panel sessions, meetings, job interviews, etc.); and making conversation and introductions at a social or networking event.

The CCRI purposefully chose a rather light-hearted name for this program to emphasize the informality, and, we hope, fun, of the conference buddy connection – its purpose is not for detailed career advice, academic mentorship, intense discussions of research, or for getting inside scoops on other institutions. 


         

Guidelines

If you are a new AMS member (or still feel "new") or are attending your first (or perhaps second) annual meeting, the American Musicological Society would like to extend a special welcome to you by giving you the opportunity to participate in the AMS Conference Buddy Program. If you are interested in participating in this program, please submit the online AMS Buddy Program registration form no later than 21 October 2020. You will be matched with another AMS member who would like to help welcome you to the meeting as your "conference buddy."

 

  1. The limit for participation in the Conference Buddy Program is twice for mentees (two different annual meetings). If there are insufficient mentors to match with second-time mentees, priority will be given to first-time participants.
  2. Please alert the Conference Buddy Coordinator if you change your plans after registering for the Conference Buddy Program, or if you change your contact information (particularly e-mail address).
  3. Please take the conference buddy connection seriously. Mentors usually have busy schedules at the Annual Meeting. Mentees should be accommodating when providing available times and show up for any appointments made. Be prompt for any arranged meetings, and if you cannot make a connection, be sure to contact your mentor. If you cannot connect, please alert the Conference Buddy Coordinators by e-mail as soon as possible.
  4. Please make a prompt connection with your mentor upon receipt of the mentor-mentee pairings notification on 28 October from the Conference Buddy Coordinators.
  5. At the Annual Meeting, you are expected to connect with your mentor as early as possible during the conference (unless you both make other specific arrangements). One key point of the Buddy Program is for your mentor to familiarize you with the conference culture near the beginning of the meeting.
  6. Remember that this is an informal opportunity to enhance your experience at the Annual Meeting, and it should be an enjoyable experience for mentor and mentee. Please do not present your mentor with resumes or work in progress, and do not expect formal career guidance, introductions to specific scholars, or lasting links beyond the meeting (although it often happens that many mentors and mentees stay connected long after the conference has ended and enjoy reconnecting at subsequent meetings).
If you are a regular or sustaining member of AMS and would like to be a "conference buddy" (i.e., mentor) for someone who is relatively new to AMS at the national meeting, please submit the online AMS Buddy Program registration form no later than 21 October 2020. You will be matched with a "newer" AMS member who has requested to have a "conference buddy."

 

  1. Please make a prompt connection with your mentee upon receipt of the mentor-mentee pairings (about one week before the conference) from the Conference Buddy Coordinators. Mentees are asked to make quick connections with their mentors, but sometimes they require a nudge or two.
  2. Connect with your mentee at the Annual Meeting as early as possible during the conference (unless you both make other specific arrangements). One key point of the Buddy Program is for you to familiarize your mentee with the conference culture near the beginning of the meeting.
  3. Please alert the Conference Buddy Coordinator if you change your plans after registering to be a mentor, or if you change your contact information (particularly e-mail address).
  4. Nearly all of the mentees are grateful for the opportunity to meet experienced musicologists who can often introduce them to colleagues and provide many useful tips and various levels of informal guidance (often governed by the level of interest shown by the mentee). The connections may vary from a quick chat to a happy repartee that continues throughout the meeting (even occasionally after). Every now and then a mentee may misunderstand the purpose of the Conference Buddy Program, and mentors should be mindful of the guidelines given to all mentees (listed above).


If you have not yet registered for the conference, please register first. 

The CCRI welcomes questions or comments about the Conference Buddy Program. Please contact program coordinators Evan MacCarthy and Deborah Heckert.