A Seat at the Table

 

Whenever you hear your favorite entertainer is coming to town, what’s your first reaction? Do you run around the room and jump for joy? Well, that’s exactly what happened when I learned the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana was hosting A Moderated Conversation with Former First Lady Michelle Obama, on February 13th , 2018 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

My sisters and I jumped on the opportunity to see of one the most influential First Ladies in American history.  As a modern-day trailblazer, Mrs. Obama continues to lead many initiatives that were launched during her husband’s presidency.  Not only was she the first African American First Lady, but her initiatives improved the lives of many American citizens. She is truly a force to be reckoned with and is a great role model for young girls around the world!

On the day of the event, I knew I was going to leave with more knowledge and insight than ever. The Fieldhouse was filled with incredible energy of sisterhood, great conversation, and good vibes. Everyone had a smile on their face, and could not wait to take their seats.

When Mrs. Obama was introduced she was received with a standing ovation. My eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store as goose bumps rose all over my arms. Mrs. Obama sat directly across from the host, Alecia DeCoudreaux, former President of Mills College. I sat in awe as these two powerful African American women spoke on stage in front of 13,000 attendees. Black Girl Magic was in full force!

Various topics such politics, education, and fashion were discussed, but there was one thing Mrs. Obama said that impacted me the most.  She stated, “There are very mediocre people out there who run stuff, but nobody out there told them they can’t. You’re just as capable. But you can’t be at the table if you’re not prepared,” It was like she was speaking directly to me!

At that very moment, I envisioned myself at the head of the table with powerful people, making decisions, and making a difference. My brain started moving a mile minute and I started to think of how I can make a lasting impression when I am in a leadership role and how to reach that goal.

Through research and listening to my mentors, such Mrs. Obama, I have discovered a few key elements that will help us achieve our goals and ultimately get a seat at the table.  With these 5 key steps, you too can be on your way to the top. With persistence and dedication, know that there is no stopping you!

  1. Education: After you determine your career field, choose the right education path. Take courses and learn key fundamentals of the industry.  

  2. Research: Research what industry leaders are doing and keep up with trends. Look for jobs in your field of interest to see what job requirements employers are seeking. Take note of the job description and build your skills around that.

  3. Network like a Boss! Once you determine your career field, search for networking events in your area to connect with professionals in the industry. During the events speak confidently and people will gravitate towards you; giving you the opportunity to let people know who you are; and why you are there.

  4. Action: Put in the work to get the experience and gain value. Volunteer, intern, and excel to gain real life experience.

  5. Making your Mark.  This is where it all comes together. Once you land your dream job, offer to take the lead on projects, asks questions to understand processes, and contribute as much possible.  Trust the process because you will get noticed.

 

Currently, I am in the early stages of my public relations career and doing everything possible to become one of the best in the industry. I have recently started writing blogs, creating content, taking industry courses, and making contacts with professionals who are established in the industry. I have learned at an early age, you must take a proactive approach to reach your goals and trust the process. The goal of this blog is to help people understand that if you’re ready to step up to the plate and make a difference in your career, life, or whatever, be prepared to WERK!  

So, let’s go ladies, let’s put in that work, and truly become a force in our career like our beautiful role model, Michelle Obama.

 

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4 initiatives launched and led by Michelle Obama

Let’s Move! address the challenge of childhood obesity

Joining Forces, to support veterans, service members and their families

Reach Higher, to inspire young people to seek higher education

Let Girls Learn, to help adolescent girls around the world go to school

Dinah "Muffy" Allen