A perspective on Professional Development and Networking
By: Rico Austin’98
Amigas and Amigos of Thunderbird, it doesn’t seem like over 16 years since I first parked my car on the heated asphalt lot (to begin my Thunderbird experience) between the old “T-Bird Pub” and the “Tower” which housed the TV room, a snack bar, a few study rooms, some TSG offices and the beloved Headquarters of the DAS TOR of which I had the great honor to spend many hours and write articles which included opinions of a poorly executed Thunderbird on-line (telephone) registration system; to report on former President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in Washington D.C.; for personal interest stories such as explaining the fun world of “Biesbol” in español and my dedication to Princess Diana of her tragic accident and passing at a time when many of us were suffering from afar at her young family’s loss.. (Please see Princess Diana story, coming up next week).
Having attended the special event held on campus this last Tuesday evening, October 23rd at the new T-Bird Pub I had the opportunity to network with fellow T-Birds and meet students and practice my Spanish while trying to communicate to some of the French speaking Honorees. The Scottsdale and Phoenix Chapters co-hosted and welcomed the 27 Women from Haiti that are in town as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative.
Networking is much more than just hanging with persons that have the same interests as do you. Professional Development runs deeper than taking specialized classes in your selected field of study. Yes, most of us prefer to socialize in circles where we feel most comfortable and have cozy level of ease. We belong to the German Club because we are in our second tier of learning to speak German or there is that cute Fräulein or Frau (as I believe to be politically correct regardless of their marital status.)
To truly network and to development professionally as well as personally we must leave our comfort zone and explore new worlds; i.e. new clubs, new social mixers, perhaps seminars that are completely out of our field of interest or study to gain a fresh perspective of life, of learning, of love. Who knows, this in turn may curve you in a different or a unique direction of which if the normal course was stayed the new adventure would never have surfaced and you would have still been greeting “ho hum” to your final day.
Did I or do I have a lot in common with 27 Women from Haiti? At first glance, we’ll echo, “most certainly not.” But as we pull the looking glass that allows for enlargement we start to see some commonalities: Both of us are willing to meet with, try to speak and understand languages that our tongues can not fully grasp the words. Both of us are enjoying cocktails in the form of beer, wine or other spirits in a friendly atmosphere. Both of us are trying to widen our horizons. Both of us are entrepreneurs or have the entrepreneur spirit of trying to make our own lives better and our families’ environments fuller and richer. Yes is why I am a Thunderbird, this is why You are a Thunderbird and this is why these 27 Haitian Women visited Thunderbird. This is why I love to call myself a T-Bird.
Had I elected to not drive across town from North Scottsdale and to watch the San Francisco Giants take it to the Detroit Tigers with my pals then I would have missed the pleasure and opportunity to meet current students Ashwathy and Varun. I would not have been acquainted with Cindy Y. or Wynona H. of “Thunderbird for Good” and heard of their passion for this program. I would not be writing this article for DAS TOR and…… Finally, I would not have met Dave the Bartender, well actually if truth be told, I already knew him.
Rico Austin, “98” T-Bird Graduate is the author of the epic, awards (12) winning novel MY BAD TEQUILA which is sold in paperback in the THUNDERSHOP here on campus. It may also be purchased at Amazon.com in eKindle, Hardcover & Paperback. Rico also writes a monthly “My Bad Tequila” Blog http://blog.mybadtequila.com