Honoring the RSVP

Michelle Jones

Michelle serves as the Associate Director of Coaching and Education for the Career Development Office at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, where she supports all students in their career growth. She comes to Carey with 7 years of experience working with students 1:1, teaching courses, developing workshops, and managing large-scale career events. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from James Madison University and a M.A. in College Student Development from Appalachian State University. She is a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), CareerLeader, and StrenghtsQuest practitioner and is a certified MBA Career Coach through The Academies.

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80 percent of success is showing up.”

Woody Allen

Between classes, group projects, internships, club participation, workshops, and employer information sessions (whew!), it is easy to over-commit yourself as a graduate student. You may RSVP to multiple events and decide later which one you actually want to attend. To RSVP, however, and be late…or worse, not show up at all, results in a ripple effect of unpleasant consequences. A ripple effect is a situation when one event causes a series of other events to happen.

The ripple effect of not showing up when you said you would:

  • Your Reputation: Consistently not showing up or being chronically late can send the message that you are either unorganized or that you view your time as more valuable than everyone else’s.
  • Your Classmate’s Opportunities: Due to room sizes and food budgets, many events are limited in capacity for attendees. So when you RSVP to an event and do not show up, you prevent others from taking advantage of the opportunity. In addition, resources—time, money, and food—are wasted.
  • Carey’s Reputation: When an external speaker or company recruiter comes to campus and there are significantly fewer students than they expected, the likelihood of them coming back to Carey in the future diminishes.

How can you control the ripple effect?

  • Keep an up-to-date calendar: When you RSVP to an event, immediately put it in your calendar. Refer to your calendar before committing yourself to an event or appointment.
  • Set reminders on your phone or computer: Whether it appears 15 hours or 15 minutes before an event, a pop-up reminder can help you manage your time and keep you on track.
  • Leave a time cushion: Give yourself an extra 10–15 minute “cushion” between commitments so that you have time to transition from one event to another. Time cushions can be particularly helpful if something unexpected, like a traffic jam or a long line in the cafeteria, were to arise.

To check out the programs and events offered by the Career Development Office, please visit Carey Compass on a regular basis and consider registering for the ones that work with your schedule. Remember to RSVP and honor the RSVP!

Photo Credit: Sergiu Bacioiu, Water Drop – Explored / CC License

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