It’s funny how small the world is, whether it is the real world or the Milli-world. There are people you will meet that down the road you will need as a contact. You will use these contacts when working in a student organization or even a class project. This past week I had many reminders of how this happens.
One of my reminders of this was as I meet with my fellow mentors for the Emerging Leader Retreat. As we were meeting, I realized how I met most of these people my first year at Millikin. Honestly, looking back, I would not have imagined that I would have grown so close and work on so many projects with them. For example, I met Dana Bjorge in my University Seminar class my first semester at Millikin. I would have never imagined back then that we would end up being RA/FYEM-LO pairing and mentors together for Emerging Leader Retreat. These leadership experiences have not only allowed me to grow as a person, but also allowed me to grow closer with some great people at Millikin.
Another example I had of these connections is on a bigger scale. This summer, I had the opportunity to be selected as one of fifty student leaders from around the world to attend the Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at the University of Pittsburgh. Here, I met many Student Government presidents from around the country. Some of us have stayed in contact with each other, sharing the successes and trials of the position. Last week, one of these leaders contacted me needing help. Saint Louis University was looking into changing food vendors for dining on campus and they wanted to gather feedback about Aramark and see how well it could possibly fit at their university. Within a couple of days, I had a small focus group of Senators and other student leaders meeting with the representatives from Saint Louis University to discuss their feelings about dining on campus. It was a great experience because, for starters, I got to show my fellow student leader friend what the Big Blue entails. As well, while having the Senators and other student leaders discussing their feelings concerning dining on campus, it helped Student Senate gather feedback about dining about what works and what may need tweaked. Plus I got another opportunity to brag about how awesome Chef is! Thank you McKenzie Saur, Alex Tueth, Nick Roberson, Drake Mellott, and Ernest Ameyaw for taking time out of your schedule at the last minute to come out!
So here is the moral of my story this week: networking is important. There will be times in your life that you will meet people and down the road your paths may cross again. When this happens, cool things can happen.