Connection Point: Back to School, Plugging Back into the DRC

Jennifer A. Schmiel, CCE, IOM, Senior Vice President, Member Engagement

Whether you are a parent sending your kids off to school, or if you can recall the experience of getting back into school-year routines and schedules, we can agree upon the value of reconnecting with learning opportunities. Making the most of your member experience is a lot like going back to school. If you take these steps and maximize your membership, you’ll see many ways your company can thrive with the DRC.

1. Set goals for your membership experience with the Member Engagement team.

My girls attend St. Patrick Catholic School in Lake Highlands. Every year, for the past seven, on the first day of school, the teachers have asked the parents and the students to write down and submit their goals for the new school year. Every year, my family pauses to think about what we want out of our year, and we reflect on these goals together at report card time and with the teachers during parent teacher conferences. Setting goals for your membership and sharing them with the Member Engagement team will help us map out a plan for achieving success.

2. Sign up to take part in councils, task forces, programs, and events.

Remember high school and the freedom to choose your elective courses? I still remember how hard it was for me to pick just two electives. And the best year was my junior year, when I could choose an extra science class because one wasn’t enough. Each membership level has a unique set of benefits, and understanding these benefits and how to take advantage of them will put you on a path of success.

3. Ensure you have all of the supplies you need.

School supply shopping can be exciting for some and frustrating for others. Many schools offer parents the option of shopping for their students or purchasing from the school. (I honestly appreciate the fact that our school allows us to purchase the school supply bundle from them.) Similarly, the DRC offers many tools to help you maximize your membership. These tools include:

  • online membership directory listing;
  • networking opportunities at events;
  • marketing opportunities through member announcements, blog posts, member spotlights, and sponsorships; and
  • regional data and demographics information available online.

4. Get to know the DRC and make sure we know you.

The best advice I received my freshman year at Texas A&M University was, “sit in the ‘Magic T’ (the first few rows of the class or in the middle of the room) because you will have more eye contact with the professor; and “always take advantage of the professor’s office hours.” This advice served me well, especially when my second semester of organic chemistry proved more challenging than the first. The same goes for DRC membership. Get to know the DRC team. We want to know about you and your company as well as how we can assist you during your membership journey.

Membership with the DRC is both a learning and relationship building experience. Success comes from setting goals and communicating these goals with the DRC Member Engagement team; making sure you utilize all of the tools available through your membership; signing up to participate in the DRC initiatives and programs; and getting to know the DRC. To learn more, contact the DRC Member Engagement team at or call 214.746.6600.