blog header: 6 tips to talk to your supervisor

Super excited to attend the DDCSP Alumni Homecoming but not sure how to talk to your employer or professor about attending? Here are 6 quick tips to help frame your conversation:

Tip #1: It’s Free

Get this one out real quick. Funding professional development can be a worry for many orgs, but guess what? This is FREE for them and FREE for you! Flights, lodging, and food during the Homecoming is covered by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Tip #2: It’s Network Building with Other Conservation Leaders

There will be 120+ folx attending Homecoming from all across the country. This unique summit is designed to promote racial equity and social justice within the broadly defined environmental sector, bridging professionals from fields as diverse as conservation, land management, environmental advocacy and policy, youth development, environmental and outdoor education, and beyond. Together we will co-create an experience that embodies a collective vision for an inclusive conservation movement.

Tip #3: It’s Important to You

Share with your employer/professor 3 reasons why attending Homecoming is important to you both professionally and personally. This is an opportunity to talk about your previous DDCSP experiences.  What did you gain from these previous experiences that you hope to cultivate more of?

Tip #4: Justify the ROI

Return on Investment (ROI) helps paint a bigger picture of how you will take your learnings from Homecoming and apply them to your workplace or school. Plan out how you hope to share your learnings and experiences with those you work and learn with. Will you write an email or blog post summarizing your experience for your coworkers or peers? Will you put together a photo collection of homecoming and share out the next staff meeting?

Tip #5: Ask for Paid Time Off First

Because this is professional development, ask your employer to support this as paid time off reiterating the ROI for the employer and the importance of Homecoming to you. Worst they can say is no, then you can use vacation time instead.

Tip #6: Applying for new jobs? Make this a part of the negotiations

Congratulations, you are at the negotiation round of the interviews process but you’re not sure if you should mention Homecoming. Do it! When you are at the negotiation round, the employer has already decided they want to work with you and negotiations are expected. Make this timeoff a part of your negotiation requests, just like salary, job title, professional development funds, etc.


If you’re still nervous about talking about Homecoming with an employer or professor, we’re here to help! Feel free to reach out to Teri or Lucy to talk through this process.