Visiting the school I attended in first grade back in Ukraine // summer 2012
I don’t often share my family’s story. Probably because I was so insecure growing up that I tried to do everything to fit in with my peers and my story makes me quite different. But, the last few years, as I’ve grown to appreciate diversity, I’ve also grown to appreciate my own personal story so much more.
Plus, as my college graduation nears (44 days!), I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing. And realizing how blessed I am – for all the opportunities I’ve had, all the people I’ve met, and all the experiences I’ve had. This whole college experience has been more amazing than anything I ever dreamed of.
So without further ado… check out my story in an article written for the Breech School of Business Administration. It’s part the story of an immigrant and another part a farewell to all the amazing people who have mentored and guided me through my time at Drury University.
I first met Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run, eating lunch at a sidewalk cafe in Paris. She was a fellow American who, when she heard my friends and I speaking English, immediately introduced herself. Since then, she’s become one of my role models – Molly has a passion and inner beauty that shines through her every word and action & she’s done amazing things with her program for young girls.
I am so excited to share her Ted Talk with y’all! In a letter to Congress, Molly speaks from the heart about her frustrations with our current state of affairs in the United States, leadership and her own personal struggles and life lessons. Honestly, it made me want to cry.
I am particularly intrigued by Molly’s view on leadership and the way she approaches it from the humble place of love, compassion and empathy. In wake of my post on Southern values, and in continued study of Scriptures, I keep seeing this common thread that all of our actions should be above all, driven by love.
As a leader, it’s so tempting to be tough and serious – I know from personal experience that sometimes being in charge of even the smallest project can feel like the weight of the world. In college, I’ve grown so much as a leader, but I continue to be discouraged in my own leadership skills. There is still so much I have to learn about being a leader, but listening to Molly, I’ve come to the realization that it’s okay to just lead with kindness. And, that’s a lesson I am still processing.
PS. This is the second Ted Talk I am reviewing on the blog as part of my 101 in 1001 project. Check out the first post on the danger of a single story.
Check out The Daily Muse today for my latest article on what to do before you get to the search bar and the three easy (and fun!) steps to identifying your dream job!
It’s always an honor to write for The Daily Muse (check out a list of my other articles here) – their site is a daily read for me. The curation of articles on being a successful young professional, whether in entrepreneurship or a big-shot corporate job.
Featured image of Emerson Fry via the EveryGirl.
Today, the Drury CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization) chapter hosted 30 high school students for an Idea Blitz – a mini business model competition.
Our goal was to show the students what entrepreneurship means – that there is no such thing as a stupid idea and what you should think about if you think you have a great business idea.
We used this business model template to get the students thinking about the the highlights of their ideas, why customers would buy the product and how they would make money. The template uses prompts and sticky notes to make the process more efficient.
Students were separated into groups of three, paired with two Drury student mentors and one community professional (bankers, local VPs, entrepreneurs, etc…). They got an hour and a half to brainstorm ideas and fill out their business model.
After a lunch at our campus cafeteria (all part of the college experience for our visitors), the high school students got two minutes per group to do their elevator pitch using the business model and their sticky notes as props.
Four local community professionals served as judges, awarding cash prizes to the first place team, whose idea was a machine that ices cupcakes and a runner up team that had an idea similar to TOMS but with a nifty pair of flip flops. Other ideas included a button that locates your TV remote and an app that farmers can use to price their cattle and comparison shop. The judges were told to not only judge the idea, but also how well the students answered the prompts in the business model.
Overall, the event was deemed a huge success – the high school students said they enjoyed it, the community members gave rave reviews and the judges said it was near to impossible to deem just one team the winner.
Check out some of the photos below!
UPDATE: Our Idea Blitz made the local news - check out this short video clip with live footage and some of the ideas the students came up with!