I mentioned in my earlier blog that we were fortunate enough to make connections with accomplished people. These connections were just a piece of what we learned.
Starting Friday morning we met people ranging from those who worked beside the president to those who report the news at CNN. They have paved their own way, and they all gave us different advice as to how to follow in their footsteps.
Mr. Dan Weiser, Senior Web Editor for the U.S. House of Representatives, suggested that we follow our dreams right away, for after a while there will be younger and more knowledgeable people out for your job! Justine Treadwell, who works for the Office of African Affairs, suggested that we experience everything we can, for that is the best way to dive in and really understand something.
Gannet Tseggai, the Southern Communications Director for President Obama, suggested that getting an internship and getting yourself involved in anything would help make the connections needed. Ed Henry from CNN suggested that we treat everyone with respect, for there is no way of knowing anyone’s position in 10 years.
Taylor Thorney, recent SMU alum who works for candidate Bob McDonnell, suggested that we stay positive and offer help even if no one is asking for it.
Finally, James Glassman, Executive Director for the future George W. Bush Institute, mentioned that the skill of rhetoric in our writing is the most important asset when trying to climb the professional ladder.
Yes, these are all very different suggestions. Nevertheless they share one common theme: professionalism in any opportunity is the key to success.
If I had not traveled to Washington, D.C., with SMU, I would not have had confirmation from every source that persistence is the grand piece to a successful career. I am fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to network and meet the people who have made their dreams realities.