Count Down to the Real World: Blog Series by Breanna Wooster
I had to write countless elevator speeches for class assignments in my undergrad. This was the one assignment that I always dreaded. They always sounded cold, impersonal, and just boring. The more I did this, the more irritated I became with the lackluster assignment because I really couldn’t see the point. When was I ever going to be stuck in an elevator with someone where I was going to introduce myself and give a minute long monologue of my life? The answer is never… or so I thought.
Rewind to last summer when I was meeting my boyfriend, Zeke, and his dad, Rusty, for a casual dinner. They had been golfing and I was meeting up with them at the country club where they played. They introduced me to the other pair they were golfing with and we began to make small talk. My ears perked up when Malachi Crane told me his job was the Executive Director of Marketing Communications at Spring Arbor University. This was the industry I wanted to work for. Malachi followed up by asking me what I was doing, and I knew this could be my chance to make a great impression on someone in the industry I loved and I didn’t have a resume or business card on hand, I was just supposed to be having dinner a casual dinner! Suddenly, all those elevator speeches didn’t seem so pointless. I had to rely on my personality and intelligence to talk about my education, my experience, the industry, and myself. After about a 10-minute conversation I said goodbye to Malachi and went on with life. Fast forward to this March, where Malachi was asking Rusty if I was looking for a job. A month later, and I have begun working part time, for now, at Spring Arbor University. My 10-minute conversation with a complete stranger a year ago may have just kick started my career.
So elevator speeches: Not as glamorous as a job fair, not as professional as a resume, and not as simple as a business card. However in some situations, it is all you have to try to make an impression on someone. The key isn’t to memorize a speech like you did in COMM 101. The key is to have a few points about yourself that you can confidently, and casually, talk about like you would your favorite movie or book. Putting yourself out there, showing your personality, and showing how intelligent and passionate you are about your industry can create the first impression you need to make connections in the industry. You never know when you will be introduced to the person who can help you get your dream job. You just have to be prepared for anything.
Breanna Wooster is a graduate assistant in the EMU Office of University Marketing and is pursuing a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business.
Eastern Michigan University will be hosting a debate for candidates for the 54th district seat in the Michigan House of Representatives. The debate will be held at 7 PM, Tuesday, April 26, in room 216 of the Pray-Harrold building. It is sponsored by WEMU, the Department of Political Science, and College Democrats, and was the brainchild of EMU political science major Steve Kwasny. The debate will be moderated by Jeffrey L. Bernstein, professor of political science. Professor Bernstein offers his thoughts here on political debating:
If I were to offer candidates any advice on debates, I would focus on the following three points:
- Be prepared – if not, pivot! Candidates never want to be caught unprepared on an issue; there is no substitute for studying up on the issues and being ready. However, if caught unprepared, a skilled candidate should be able to take a difficult, uncomfortable question and pivot, answering the question they wish they had been asked. Watch for it – they all do it!
- Have a theme. Just as memorable Broadway musicals have people whistling their signature songs as they leave the theatre, a successful performance will have a line, or phrase, or idea, which the viewers will remember after the debate ends. Repeat it. Drive the point home.
- Watch the non-verbals. People will pay attention to how the candidates look when giving answers. Do they seem to want to be there? (Who can forget President George H.W. Bush looking at his watch during a debate?) Are they respectful to the other candidates? Do they appear to be in command? Voters may get bored with the details of the policy, but they will notice how candidates are behaving.
Written by: Maya Carter, business marketing major
As I get ready to walk across the commencement stage, I have been sorting through all of my college mementos and it got me thinking about what I truly want to keep and why do I want to keep them? I started to ask some of my family members and mentors to see if the things I wanted to keep are the same things they ended up keeping and cherishing from their college experiences. For the most part, everyone kept the same type of items.
I decided to keep:
- Cap, gown, tassel
- Pictures of my friends from freshman to senior year
- My diploma (surprising some people lose these or throw them out)
- Some books for references in the future
- My first A on an exam and first hard paper
- Some notes from a class that I felt was very valuable to me
- My track jerseys and spikes
- All of my Academic Medals and Conference championships
- All my case studies that I put together
- Work experience and resume development
- My transcript and my acceptance letter
- My first photo with Swoop
These are just ideas and suggestions for what to keep when you begin to get ready for graduation and move on into the real world. Looking back at all of these exciting and crazy memories, I am so happy and thankful Eastern Michigan contributed to each and every one of them.