AABPA Spring Symposium: Retooling, Refining, and Govin’ Up

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis (AABPA) Spring Symposium which was held at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. I had a wonderful time meeting and learning from budgeteers and experts from around the nation.

The theme of the symposium was “Refine, Retool Collaborate: The Future is Now.”
The morning began with a keynote from Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States. It was such a treat to hear from such an insightful person.
A key point I took away from this symposium came from one of the breakout sessions I attended called “Retool You.” This session, moderated by OMB analyst, Shelly McAllister, took theme of refining and retooling and made it personal by discussing the importance of grow yourself as well as your career, even during times of agency budgets and harsh demands on budget staff. Even as a non-budgetteer, this session proved to be incredible informative for me.
Kitty Wooley, Management and Program Analyst for the Department of Education gave wonderful insight into how to best improve yourself regardless of what is happening around you at your agency. Some key points which stood out to me included:

-You have to ask yourself if you are making an effort to understand the language of others around you
-Work with people across silos
-Never stop learning. Just because you’ve made it to SES, keep renewing yourself for your entire career. We as citizens need people to keep evolving so the government can keep evolving.
-Build up career muscle for the future. Utilize resources like GovLoop to better yourself. Meet people and stay involved in what is happening around you.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the AABPA symposium. It was great to hear from so many change makers in our budget system about the positive changes which are taking place. The day ended with an awesome GovUp held at BlackFinn. It was great tokeep the conversation going after the event and meet awesome govies and students from all over. Many thanks to the hard working folks at AABPA for an awesome day and an awesome event! For more information about AABPA, visit their new website.

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