Sunday, May 8, 2011
Your Career and You: "Talk to Me!"
It's the end of yet another semester and another year, and all kinds of thoughts are racing through my head.
"What difference did I make this year?" ... "Will my superstars continue to shine post graduation?" ... "What did I learn?"
These thoughts started bubbling after a chat I had with a student at Curry College...a graduating senior, I learned...who had switched her major to Communication and found that she really enjoyed the field, in particular the Public Relations aspect.
My response upon learning this? "I wish we had had this conversation a year go, when we could have worked out a plan of action for you."
We parted agreeing that we would continue this dialogue over the summer and that I would work with her to help identify some potential avenues to pursue for employment.
To put it mildly, I was surprised that this student had just now floated onto my radar screen. Am I the only faculty member with whom she has come in contact who has urged her to explore her options...her strengths...and her passions?
She's a very good communicator. Didn't this strength show through in any of her other courses?
She's very focused and organized. Ditto.
She loves thinking through and solving problems. Hmmm...
But that was then...and now she and I have a plan. And maybe these attributes simply didn't rise to the surface previously.
That's what makes this gig I'm doing now so much fun...opportunities to uncover, usually by accident, budding PR superstars. Not only that, but being able to work with them to sort out the myriad possibilities available to them depending on their interests and their strengths.
It's often a pleasant surprise for both of us, as in (me saying) "I had no idea you were interested in that area. Cool! Let's figure out where you should start looking!"
And, from the other side of the conversation: "I've always been interested in that area. I just didn't know that I would also become interested in public relations and that I could combine those two interests."
Your basic "win-win."
It all starts with simple but meaningful conversations, though, and you, as a student/soon-to-be graduate, have to take the lead. I can't read your mind. Talk to me.
Mention to me, even casually, things that you enjoy doing...hobbies, leisure activities, books you've read...stuff that gives me a clearer picture of you the "non-student," the human being.
Then I can start mentioning to you things that fall into one or more of those areas of interest that have a public relations (or other...I really don't expect everyone to want to go into PR!) focus.
Talk to me!
"And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand." - Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, "On Talking."