Thanks for checking out the first edition of a new blog series we’ve just started, called “Mock Con Memories.” One of the best parts about Mock Convention is that it is a school-wide effort. Because it takes so many people and so much time for the convention to run smoothly, it’s no surprise that alumni think so fondly of their Mock Con days. This week, we caught up with Tricia King, ’12, to ask her about her experience.
What was your major at W&L, and what position did you hold for Mock Con 2012?
I was an English and Politics major and the General Chair of the 2012 Mock Convention.
What was your favorite event during Mock Con?
It is incredibly difficult to choose just one, as I would relive even the parts of it that were challenging at the time. But if pressed, I would have to say the final session of the Convention, particularly after the state chairs had cast their votes and we had announced our nominee (Mitt Romney). The energy in the room was like nothing else I had ever experienced before or have since, owing in great part to the fact that virtually every current W&L student was not only present but participating wholeheartedly. We all know well the magic that can happen when even a small group of Generals rally together for something they believe in—multiply that by many times, add streamers falling and music blaring and a lot of unexpected (but still tasteful) antics, bottle it up and put it into a gymnasium made-over to look like a veritable convention hall, and it was just electric—the perfect way to cap off three years of dedication and hard work.
What do you miss most about being involved with Mock Con?
Why do you that think it is important for students to get involved with Mock Con?
I could probably write a dissertation on the subject. I think at its heart, Mock Convention embodies what makes this country exceptional—it is patriotic, it is steeped in tradition, it is made by the dedication and ingenuity of driven young people, and it is made better by getting those driven young people into a room together and hammering out a very elegant final product from what began as just a compilation of varying perspectives and good ideas. It is an invaluable experience—and an uncommon one—to contribute to your own university community through a political exercise that is by definition educational. I like to think that our Founders would be proud of—and maybe even a little tickled by—the performance that W&L students consistently deliver year after year.
How has your Mock Con experience helped you with your professional career?
Since graduation, I have worked and studied all over—DC, Austin, Paris—in a circuitous path I certainly did not expect, only to land for now back in my home town of Norfolk, Virginia working in commercial real estate and development in the Tidewater area. For me, the effect of Mock Convention has more to do with the ethos of the whole thing than any practical thing I learned how to do by running it. Endeavors like Mock Convention, where people are daily fired up by what they are doing, are, in my experience, somewhat rare in the professional world. But even when traditional corporate culture can seem staid and intractable, my experience with Mock Convention reminds me of what people are capable of when they feel a connection to a cause and an impulse to serve, when they are striving for a new level of creative excellence, or when they have a really inspired team around them and doing the work is just plain fun. So in the “real world,” I aim to foster that spirit on professional projects that are not as inherently imaginative as Mock Convention.