Sunday, May 22, 2016

Internal Strategic Seminar 2016: Closer to Our Annual Goals

As you know, our student chapter is a part of a great community - an international non-profit professional society for people engaged in the science and application of light. To introduce you with us - the University of Latvia SPIE (UL SPIE) Student chapter is a campus organization that engages in professional development and science outreach in our local community. 
In order to evaluate our capacity and competences to strengthen our position among other communities, we organized an Internal Strategic Seminar at the beginning of May. During the event we created an annual activities plan and estimated our output, and had fun while doing that.

1/3 part of our UL SPIE Student chapter members
Our chapter consists of 28 members from different universities - passionate and open-minded students, and promising PhDs who want to be successful in determining their career path in optics, photonics or related fields and gain necessary leadership skills. For understanding our strengths and weaknesses, and for identifying both the opportunities open to us and the threats we face, our members used SWOT (Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunies. Threats) analysis as an useful technique. During the analysis we summarized what advantages our organization have, as well as highlighted what unique resources we can exploit in order to attract new enthuastic members.

Our technique for making our student chapter better: SWOT Analysis

As a result, our most distinct positive features were realized, for instance, the presence of our strong and steady core members with a wide experience and high motivation who encourage and motivate everybody else, as well as support of a few mates with a great potential, and good international contacts. As our key-features might be considered our ability to work constructively and efficiently hand by hand as a team, generating new ideas, and capability to implement projects in the long term.

Chapter's honor and pride - girls predisposed to natural sciences
Regarding to the held activities during the seminar, our President Matiss Lacis had shared his own thoughts. He was satisfied with the result of the strategic workshop: “Apart of organizing scientific events and studying Physics, SPIE members should learn how to collaborate in different occasions and to learn more about other colleagues. To get attention of potential members of the UL SPIE, we created a team-building event where everyone must participate to make our own pizzas.
While eating pizza, we had an informal meeting to create our Year's Plan. We did a great job and now we have clear goals for this year. We made an assessment of our chapter to realize our strengths and weaknesses.
This event helped us to make an interest for two new UL SPIE members to join our student chapter. These two girls are excited of our planned events this year and are eager to help us organize them.”

During strategic planning
Although the most important part of the workshop was the planning of the action plan how to achieve strategic plans in 2016. Therefore, all the present members set the goals for this year, analized the steps how to achieve them and estimated the necessary resources. Hereafter, we are working on our internal and external performance by ensuring continuous publicity, as well as welcoming new members and providing them mutually beneficial and satisfying platform, and have mutual commitment in the long-term, to creating and maintaining a motivating environment around us, especially recruiting enthusiastic and professional team for organizing next international scientific conference held in Riga.
Besides, the UL SPIE Secretary Brigita Zutere accented her feelings about the meeting and obtained output: “I am super impressed with all the time and hard work that went into planning. Actually, that was the most time-consuming process, and, to my mind, a good plan and time management is the clue to successful results. I believe that  this workshop was a great reference point or milestone for both chapter’s internal and external development. As well as, we recognized that a step change is needed in productivity.
According to my personal experience, becoming involved in such an organization, is a good way how to gain an useful first-hand experience in organizing, for making international networking and self-development.”

Proudly showing our belonging to the Student chapter
Our Student chapter engages in a variety of activities, therefore every member can be involved and gain experience by doing something by themselves. We need members who are hands-on people and are ready for new challenges. However, we really need to increase our audience, to enforce or actualize in the real life the importance of participating among us.
For this reason, any active student who studies and is interested in physics, can become a part of our international society for optics and photonics. Just contact somebody in the UL SPIE Board! 
We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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