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Professional Development with a Side of Transformation

During the transformational experience of YE Summit, alumni were given many opportunities to network with fellow alum, professionals and partner organizations. One of these opportunities was a small group dinner with professionals from Guardian Industries, Southwest Airlines, Accenture, and Molex; as well as community members Lester Family Foundation, Jive Live Entertainment, Keebeck Wealth Management, and the Marriott Renaissance Center. 

Not only was this a great opportunity to practice the etiquette skills they learned earlier in the week, but it was also a chance to meet professionals from a variety of different backgrounds while gathering bits of insight, encouragement, and advice. 

In preparation for the dinners, students were hungry for information and excited to meet new people. When asked how he felt about attending the Accenture dinner, Brandon Kilian said, “I’m definitely excited to put my name out there and get to know people.” He said his greatest goal was to be more outgoing and “to be able to say with confidence, this is who I am, and this is what I’m doing here.” 

By getting to know their dinner guests, students learned that they have more in common with the professionals than they may have thought. YE alumnus Jaden Roggow said that “most people think of donors and executives and think they are big people in the world, but when you just sit down at dinner and talk to them you are able to relate situations.” After talking to the professional at his table, he was able to recognize the similarities in her life in comparison to his. Jaden gained insight about how he should approach his next steps because he was able to see the ways in which the professionals were successful and what they changed in their lives in order to achieve that success. 

Students also gained perspective on what it means to be a good leader. YE student Erika Becerra-Pujols says the greatest piece of knowledge she gained came from experiencing the way the employee of Guardian Industries spoke about CEO Ron Vaupel. She said, “the way he talked about their CEO gave me tips about how I should be if I ever start a business.” 

The dinners also inspired students to act. After having dinner with Bruce Lee, YE student Jada Glover was inspired and ready to drive change in her community. Jada said, “I have never been inspired like that before. It was so moving, and so inspiring. I know I’m going to go do great things after tonight.” 

These small group dinners gave students the opportunity to build connections with professionals that gave them insight about the road to success. Thank you to all our dinner participants for contributing to the transformational experience of 2019 YE Summit.