By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau
Connections are often the overlooked companion to a college degree that makes the post-graduation job search significantly easier. It can be hard to build a connection without having an in to that business, but Grand Canyon University’s Honors College creates an instant path to those connections through its many efforts.
One of those efforts was its recent Leadership Conference, designed to teach students about the business world from people who are in it, all while getting to meet other Honors students with the same mindset.
“I think it was a great opportunity to meet established individuals in the various fields, whether it be business or different markets of leadership, but also meet other motivated individuals that are students as well,” Honors student Elisha Fronda said. “I think in business in general there’s no better way to make connections than going to events that attract people that have already made it and that are already successful.”
Fronda praised the Honors College for its ability to bring in professionals who provided wisdom and experience that students could learn from.
Students were not only able to learn about leadership and paths they can take to reach their goal, but also words of wisdom about stress and self-pressure.
For Rosaura Carrillo Garcia, it brought comfort to hear from the speakers that it’s OK to not have your whole life planned out and not be sure what your plan is after college. It really stuck with Garcia when speakers talked of focusing more on doing what makes you happy because as long as you continue to follow your dreams “it’s gonna play out the way it’s supposed to.”
One of the speakers, Travis Hardin, also got a lot of out of it. The Communications Consultant for Wells Fargo Business said he enjoys speaking to students who are passionate about their futures and growth and prides himself on providing today’s youth with the knowledge they crave.
“We as an older generation, as Gen Xers and baby boomers, do a poor job of really talking to the millennials,” Hardin said. “I take it very personal and take it seriously when I have an opportunity to talk to them because (they) are hungry for knowledge and hungry for wisdom, and we don’t always open up to share it.”
Nick Pupa, an Honors College student of two years, encourages fellow Honors students to use events like the Leadership Conference to their benefit.
“The Honors College is there to help you and is a great resource with amazing people, but it only works if you’re willing to put in the time and pursue it,” Pupa said.
Another student, Wendy Zhang, stressed the importance of coming prepared to learn and getting out of your comfort zone at Honors College events and conferences. Zhang was determined to stand out and, as a result, was able to make a few new connections on LinkedIn.
“When you go, don’t just be physically present, be mentally present,” she said.
Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or [email protected]