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I’ve said it many times, I don’t just attend events, I must be involved.
Recently, I was invited to share a few words at an event for my old school. One of the organizers was corrected because they were going to have me go ahead of all of the deans.
“Have the deans go first, then Angel.”
I chuckled to myself when this happened, but it was the logical procedure to follow. I understood her logic, the more important person goes last, but I think the fear was that people would leave. I wasn’t offended or anything. In fact, there was no major gain to the school administrators in having me speak at this event. Or so one might think, until I actually started to speak.
I was invited to speak about my alumni experience, and how Monroe helped me get my career started. As most of the folks spoke before me, I saw what the general theme was, and I abanbonded my planned approach. I shifted gears from “sharing my story,” to joining them on their mission to sell the school to these prospective students.
In my brief speech I cited how a Master’s Degree was part of the reason that I did not get my promotion to Second Lt. in the U.S. Air Force. I explained how in corporate America, sometimes individuals who are not as qualified as you will get a promotion ahead of you because they have a Master’s degree. Finally, I spoke about how even within the television and blogging world, a Master’s degree could make you more valuable as a commentator.
In short, I told them they should get a Master’s degree at Monroe. They could be the person who is in charge, or the person getting passed up by the one who earned their Master’s degree.
The dean, and several other directors were impressed by what I said. So much so that they thanked me for my “sell,” and invited me to visit the Bronx campus to do more of the same. One person said “You are a very inspiring speaker.” Some of the attendees took a great interest in my words, and began to ask me questions about the school enrollment process. I thought this was interesting and decided to seize the moment!
What was my immediate objective by participating in this event? To get these senior folks to learn my name. I want them to learn, and remember my face. I had recently reached out to a few of them, and my calls landed upon deaf ears. This led me no choice but to find a way to get their attention otherwise.
When I was invited to speak, I thought this was a great opportunity to demonstrate to the team what it is that I can do! I seized the moment! Nothing may come of this, but hey, I’m generating an interest in what I’m saying. I’m also demonstrating first hand what it is that I can do. And if nothing at all, I am working on my public speaking skills!
What is my long term play here? Landing a job in this field where I have only real life experience to rely upon. I need to further build up my experience, and gain more bullet points for my resume. This is the path I must take because my education is in a completely different area.
I like to take chances and try to get things done! I’m strategic like that. After the event, I emailed the dean, and some of the staff with my desire to work with them. Let us see what happens down the road!
Thank you to Monroe College for the opportunity to talk to their future students, and a huge thank you to Krystle for making this happen!