Prepping For Our Virtual ISLC

As ISLC approaches and the excitement sets in, here are some helpful reminders to better prepare yourself for the conference!

By Jordan Griffith, Student Programs media intern

Whether this is your first ISLC or you’ve lost count, prepping for any conference is essential to get what you want out of it. In previous years, the conference has taken place at a university around the world during this time of year; however, due to the pandemic, and with everyone’s safety in mind, Student Programs made the decision to host the conference virtually. While this experience might be a little different, we hope you’re able to connect with others who share the same passion for Operation Smile’s mission, learn something new, and leave the conference feeling more inspired!

Read the ISLC 2021 participant manual. This is your go-to tool. Review it a few days before ISLC commences. It entails the whole schedule during the three-day conference. You will be able to see when and which keynote speakers are presenting and when other activities such as team building are set for. It goes over the respectable guidelines to remember while participating in ISLC. The manual also does an excellent job of describing the theme of this year’s ISLC: Beyond the Smile. The conference will go into more detail about the theme of the conference but it’s always a good idea to be knowledgeable beforehand. Learn more here.

Plan Ahead. Being in a virtual world for the past year we all know that technology and the internet tend to be unpredictable. Give yourself 10-15 minutes to make sure your network connection is stable and that you have a quiet place to help you stay engaged for the length of the conference’s daily activities. Put away things that might cause your focus to wander during the conference.

 Be open-minded. I know it can seem scary opening up to a new group of people, but the more open-minded you are about this experience, the more you will take away with you. You will be put into your small team of students from all over the world and supported by your team leader. This person will be in charge of helping you and your teammates compete in challenges as well as adhere to any questions you might have throughout the duration of the conference. Don’t be afraid of being bold by asking questions or commenting on another person’s idea. In fact, think of one question to ask each speaker about their experience (other people may be wondering the same thing!)

Remain Respectable. Remember that there are multiple countries present in this event. Please refrain from using any language or demonstrating any behavior that would be considered disrespectful and offensive to someone of another culture. Also, when wanting to participate, please remember to click on the hand-raise icon. Remember, you are on camera, so please remember to stay engaged and respectful when others are speaking as you would want them to do for you.

Engage with @osstudpro on Instagram. While enjoying your time at the virtual conference, make sure to tag us in any of the pictures you post so we can feature them on our story! Also, make sure to have your post notifications on so you can stay up to date on any ISLC updates!

Jordan is a Student Programs’ media intern and president of Virginia Tech’s Operation Smile chapter. She has been involved with Operation Smile for almost six years; she first learned about the organization through one of her best friends when she lived in Southern California. Since then, she has found a passion for assisting others and engaging with individuals who share an interest in being leaders in their communities.