Workshops Galore!

By Mark Jackson & Michael Reardon


The LinkedIn Advantage Seminar was a great way to start off Career Week. John Hill, the Higher Education Evangelist for LinkedIn, came to speak to Thunderbird about the advantages that LinkedIn offers to students like us, but also as an impetus to get serious about our careers and how we are viewed by recruiters.

John Hill focused on three major points in his speech, which he outlined early on in the session. Those were:

  1. Build a network before you need it, so it’s there when you need it
  2. Build a quality-relational network on LinkedIn, not a quantity-relational one
  3. Dream Big

John then went into detail on how we can focus our search on LinkedIn by our groups we join, our schools we attend, and the people we already know. An interesting point that John drove home was “taking the conversation offline,” which came as a shock, with Mr. Hill’s salary being paid by a major tech company. The overall message there, though, is that LinkedIn is a powerful tool to be utilized in conjunction with the best form of communication out there–face to face.

Wrapping up, students came away from the conversation a lot more focused in how to use LinkedIn, and then immediately began expanding the network with fellow T-Birds!

The Exceptional Presenter with Tim Koegel gave students a complete crash course in how to better leverage their presentation skills in order to make a point. In Tim Koegel’s bestseller The Exceptional Presenter readers are given a full arsenal of tools to help better get their points across and truly bring in the audience to what you are discussing. Mr. Koegel’s presentation at Thunderbird centered around the benefit of gestures while presenting.


People lose interest in what people are saying after 25-35 seconds. How can one possibly have a meaningful presentation in which he tries to make a point in a 30 minute long presentation? It’s next to impossible! Mr. Koegel explains that through the power of gesturing, people can expand upon that range to ensure the audience pulls their attention back to the forefront. He gave students four common gestures that are easy to use in daily life to practice and perfect for those big presentations:

  1. When using numbers (in reference to objectives/goals) actually count those numbers off on your hands
  2. When giving directions or locations make sure you focus those gestures in that direction or toward that location
  3. When making comparisons, demonstrate those differences with your hands (higher/lower, greater/less)
  4. When using action words or dates, emphasize with a stark gesture

Mr. Koegel was able to actively engage the students during his talk, mostly through preparedness. He summarized his speech by making the point to always be prepared and never to ‘oversell’ your gestures. Practice makes perfect so get out and start gesturing!


The Gallup Strengths-based Leadership Workshop gave students an in depth look at the power the StregthsFinder assessment can make on leveraging your strengths in an interview or project. By using these 34 strengths, students could go further into how best they can be of use in a group setting and were coached on how to explain their strengths in new wise for potential employers. The workshop took on a new tone when students were asked to come to the front of the room and present on one of their top 5 strengths. Student Mike Allen decided to show how Belief helps decide his decision making process in a new way most had never thought of when it came to that strength.

Susan Shald, of Gallup Organization, closed the workshop by expressing the four ways many can ensure that they are exemplifying the best managers in any business:

  1. Build Trust
  2. Show Compassion
  3. Provide Stability
  4. Create Hope

She had all students take a moment to build their own Board of Directors in their lives of the people that had most impacted them. It was these people that had guiding moral compasses and who were and have been shaped by influence and standards. She expressed that these people will be the people you will carry into the workplace, dead or alive, for years to come.

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