Even before I arrived at San Juan, I recognized that June 16th through the 19th was a short period of time for a convention. As a member and not an officer, I had one less day to enjoy Puerto Rico and my time with the other attendees. So, the challenging question I asked myself was, “How do I can make the most out of a four-day convention in Puerto Rico?”

I had no idea what to expect, but after the reception kick-off and scavenger hunt, it instantly hit me that I was going to have an incredible time beyond anything I could’ve imagined. Josh Shipp gave an amazing speech, and I met some amazing people on the first night (kudos to group 22 *honk honk*).

The great speakers, the wonderful new friends and the beautiful island were only part of the challenge. I also had to factor in probably one of the most important aspects of the convention which were the professional seminars.

All of the seminars were beneficial, but I knew that I could only attend four. I solved that challenge by first choosing the most practical sessions. Learning how to manage stress and communicate with others effectively were lessons that I could use in my personal life as well as my professional life.

The next day I chose to attend sessions that would work on my weaknesses. I picked up a few valuable tips on how to have a successful interview, and I cleared all of my resume uncertainties in Resume Writing 2.0.

I decided on how to make the most out of the rest of the convention by simply being true to myself and keeping in mind my interests. I’m originally from the Jersey Shore, so I love the beach. I made it a priority to visit the beach during my stay. Additionally, I spent some time around the hotel pool just to enjoy the scenery and water.

As for making new friends, I wanted to meet as many people as I could, but I’m aware that I would rather bond with one or two close people. I made it into a two-for-one deal by hanging out with my new friends at the beach and pool. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to fully master that part of the challenge, because there were a few people that I wanted to meet, but didn’t have a chance to.

Most of the attendees can agree that “Your Passport to Possibilities” was entirely too short, but we each have our different and unique ways of dealing with it. The bottom line is a quote that I’ve heard at least five times during the convention. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you “make the most out of the convention.”

Nick Westbrooks is an NSCS member at Howard University majoring in Broadcast Journalism. In the future he plans to produce news for a network or local TV news station. You can find him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @NickWestbrooks and check out his personal blog at http://nickwestb.wordpress.com.