Like many of my colleagues who started in this business, I decided to leave a career as a college administrator to become an independent educational consultant (IEC). While pondering my next move, I felt like it was a risky decision because it was a career change. The challenge was different in many aspects from any of the previous challenges I had faced in my job. The uncertainty had me very concerned about which steps would help me succeed in my new endeavor. After exploring my options, I decided to join IECA. Soon after joining, my worries started to diminish because of the association’s support for its members. It felt as though I had become part of a community.

Here are a few reasons why I belong to IECA:

• IECA offers a welcoming environment to all members.

• Networking opportunities are plentiful because there are various events being organized all year round.

• IECA facilitates strong support from colleagues. Through the Member Network, IECs can get answers to any unanswered questions from clients. Because the association has members globally, any client’s question you may need help with will likely be answered in less than 30 minutes. (I am not exaggerating.) And, it happens at odd hours because members are operating in different time zones.

• Members have opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from across the globe regarding subjects of interest.

• Training through webinars and other events helps me to stay abreast of current issues in the field.

• At conferences members get to spend several days together while sharing ideas regarding best practices and other important topics related to the profession.

• IECA enables the engagement of its members through volunteer positions within the association.

• The association offers a platform for all members to receive assistance with various types of problems they may face in their daily business.

Jean Louis, MSEd, MPA, CEP, IECA (NY)