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Emerging Leaders organizes the Sophomore Toast

A new precedent has been set this fall by the members of Emerging Leaders 2, a select group of students involved in the second step of the Emerging Leaders series. Matthew Pack, a sophomore chemical engineer, said that he joined the Emerging Leaders program “to better understand what it takes to become a good leader. In EL2, I am applying the lessons I learned from Emerging Leaders 1 to get more involved with the RPI community.” A prime example of this is their responsibility to organize the Sophomore Symposium, a leadership conference that guides sophomores to reflect and improve upon their own personal and professional experiences. Since this event is slated to take place in the spring semester, a precursor event has been born to further prepare the sophomore class: The Sophomore Toast.

Why is it called the Sophomore Toast? Quite simply, it is meant to be a toast for sophomores, celebrating the transition into their academic career at RPI. Historically, the event existed as a soirée, but it has been reinvented as a toast to allow for the dual purpose of focusing on networking skills. The more important question, however, is “What is the Sophomore Toast?”

The Sophomore Toast is meant to build a foundation for the Sophomore Symposium in a low-key setting. This event serves as a fun simulation of how to network properly in a casual setting with professional faculty and other students. During the toast, students attending will listen to brief, interactive presentations that address important networking conduct and questions that most students have had at one point or another. These points of interest include how to demonstrate confidence, relieve nervous habits, construct an elevator pitch, and how to effectively and politely close a conversation. Simply knowing how to respond in each situation isn’t enough however; this event offers the unique opportunity to put these skills to use on the spot in conversations with attendants including, but not limited to the class deans, school deans, administrators and other special guests.

The Sophomore Toast, open exclusively to sophomores, will take place on November 18, from 4–6 pm in Studio Beta in the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. Students are expected to adhere to a business casual dress code, and should sign up at no cost prior to the event at A number of students have already registered. Sophomore Conrad Mossl was asked why he signed up for the event and claimed that “I [saw] the success the sophomore programs had last year and I’ve been excited to participate in the programs ever since. I also enjoy talking to the administration, faculty, and staff of the school, and I know the Sophomore Toast will be including them in the event.” The Sophomore Toast only has a limited number of slots, and considering the event is free and offers free food, free gifts, and lots of surprises, don’t wait and miss this incredible opportunity!

-Emerging Leaders