Navigating a career path is often a daunting process. No matter what the intended profession or professions are, there are always going to be challenges and tough decisions that need to be made along the way to reach those goals. As a junior in college, I am just getting started on my own career path and enjoy the occasional guidance and mentorship by people who are more experienced in the professional and academic world than me. That’s why I decided to attend TGP’s Career Panel, a bi-annual event that TGP hosts where a diverse group of established professionals come in and share dinner and engage in a panel with the student-athletes that lead TGP’s school programs.
It was 6 o’ clock on a cold Wednesday night. Usually, I’d just be getting back to my apartment from my health promotion programming planning class, but that night I decided to do something a little different. I headed downtown to attend the Career Panel. When I arrived, I was greeted by fellow student-athletes, TGP staff, and Roti Mediterranean Cuisine catering. Everyone was sacrificing something to be there. The athletes were in the midst of finals season, the staff had a big day at Grassroots Connect the next day, and the panelists came straight from work to be with us.
After sharing a meal with the attendees, the panel began. I sat back and absorbed the knowledge and guidance the panelists had to offer about their stories of resiliency when faced with challenges that impeded their professional goals, their keys to their success, their processes of choosing what degrees they attained in higher education, and how they maintained a work-life balance.
If it had been just me sitting down with a CEO and President of a company, a
Although the panelists had prestigious positions, it was not an environment that made me feel pressured to be as good as them or where they were strictly telling us how we should be approaching our own personal and professional goals.
After the event, I was grateful and happy I had been able to make it. The dinner and panel refreshed and realigned me with my goals and direction. Even more, at a time in school when the workload was busy and frantic, the occasion gave me time to create a bigger picture of where I was in life.