I dedicate this post to my sister-in-law, who emailed me today pleading that I post again, as the booger post below this was making her sick. Life has been crazy hectic again. I’m finally getting over my cold, and now Little Miss got sick last night, and I think we got a total of 2 hours of sleep. Dragging today for sure.
So why did I post that picture of me with classic 90s hair? That is me going to my senior homecoming dance, circa 1992. (Click on the image to see a larger version of all of the hair in its glory.) I dredged up that pic last week, as I was asked to participate in a program at work where we bring in a bunch of high school juniors and seniors for our employees to talk to them about our education and career paths. In essence, I was asked to present to them the things I wish I would have known at their age, and to help them relate to us, we were to show a picture of us in high school. I showed two. The second will come later…
So what did I say? It’s hard to say it eloquently on 2 hours of sleep with a toddler chatting in my ear, but here it goes. I told them to start exploring career options in high school, by asking to do job shadows, and taking personality tests. I have had so many great personality tests in trainings from work, and I think having that information back then might have made me choose a different education and career path.
All of the speakers conveyed that college was FUN. But I helped bring the kids down to earth telling them how I lost my full ride scholarship by one tenth of a point on my GPA my first semester. In other words, I told them to have fun, but also remember what is at stake.
I told them about how I wanted nothing more than to leave New Mexico and find a big corporate job upon graduating from college, which I did. I loved the job, but discovered that WHERE you live is just as important as what you do, as I really detested living in Michigan and working in downtown Detroit.
I told them about some of the cool jobs I had in General Motors, and how at age 24, I had a mind blowing budget of $14 Million dollars. Then I told them how I decided to move out West and found a company to move me, which they did, and then proceeded to lay me off 5 weeks later. I think it’s hard for someone in high school to understand what that feels like, but I drove home the point of just because you’re young and educated doesn’t mean you’re immune to down sizing. I also told them that building your own networks was the key to being able to find a job (i.e. pick yourself back up when that happens), and illustrated that with how I convinced my next employer to create a job that was perfect for me.
Anyway, that was the gist of the presentation. Education is king (not to mention much more fun than the REAL world), and that they could take control of their own destiny. The kids were engaged, dressed to the nines in business attire, and really impressed me. I hope they learned a few gems from me.
On Monday, I started volunteering with the Junior Achievement program, where I go into a class of third graders and teach them about business once a week for five weeks. I had an absolute blast teaching the class (got to live out the idea of being a teacher for a short time), and am looking forward to continuing this process. Once again, the kids were really engaged and eager to participate. I got such a big kick out of writing my name as Mrs. Bellin on the white board (evidently chalk boards are passe now) as I introduced myself. I’ve always wanted to do that. I just have to say how cool my employer is for providing these types of opportunities for myself and other employees to give back to the community, as it really helps provide me with a sense of fulfillment.
So I’ll leave you with the second picture I showed during the presentation to high schoolers, a picture that I look at with a bit of sorrow, as I just miss this body:
That’s me at 16 as a drill teamer. I look back at that picture and remember that I thought I was fat back then. Someone even told me at that age that I couldn’t afford to gain any more weight. Well, I afforded it, that’s for sure, but I’m still healthy, even if a bit heftier. But still, I think that picture helps illustrate how warped a teenage girl’s view of reality and her own body can be.
Oh, and to the drill team picture, one of the high schoolers reacted, “it’s amazing how dated that outfit is.” Really?! I guess drill teamers and cheer leaders dress a lot sexier now-days, don’t they?
I’ll try not to let another week go by without another post.