College Leaders Program, Class of 2016
Day 10: June 20, 2016
Reported by Ricardo Manoatl, Radford University
After a long exciting weekend, it was great to have a fairly calming Monday to bring us back and get our heads in the game to start week two of our College Leaders Program. As per usual, another sunny and hot morning here in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia to burn and blind us on our way to our 9 AM class. Although what better way to bring us shakers and movers of tomorrow back to reality from the long weekend than with a resume workshop with UVA’s own Barbara Kessler. Barbara Kessler, Director of Human Resources and Workforce Development programs at the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies, walked us through the building process for resumes and cover letters while giving tips on things to keep in mind. She spoke highly of keeping track of your accomplishments, being original, words to avoid, and common mistakes to watch out for like formatting and typos. Overall it was a great educational session, Barbara was kind enough to collect all our resumes at the end and review each one of them, we nervously/excitedly await the return.
Despite us off to an informative and productive morning, it wouldn’t be a Monday without something going wrong. This being the fact that our second speaker for the day was confused about his time slot he was scheduled for and therefore was going to be a little late. However once again our fearless leader Cash Arehart came to save the day with the continuation of his presentation skills workshop. Taking off where we left off, Cash’s big theme for today was communicating without talking. This meant body language and becoming comfortable with your audience. A memorable quote from him today “Fake it, till you make it” really stuck with me as a way to remember that no matter how nervous of uncomfortable you may be, if you present yourself as confident and clear, your body will just role with it and you’ll eventually just forget why your were nervous in the first place.
It was at this point that Cash found a good stopping point for us to resume later, and perfect timing too as Cameron Sasnett General Registrar of Fairfax County just walked in the room. Cameron gave us a presentation on what it’s like being the general registrar for the largest county in Virginia as well as his views on the future of voting. He emphasized his interest in creating ways to make it easier for people to vote, and utilizing technology to our advantage. Cameron was informative and really explained to us the importance of voting and getting people registered. It was nice to hear him talk as an outside perspective on politics from an end that often gets overlooked but is most important to government.
After Cameron finished up and we awaited the next speaker after some delicious Jason’s Deli pasta, our attention was immediately turned to the southern man with the bottle of booze. Denver Riggleman owner of Silverback distillery had entered the room. Denver was our most electric speaker today, pacing the room back and forth while explaining the challenges of starting a small business and making it into a well known brand. Denver spoke about why he started the business with his wife not knowing what opening up a distillery would entail. He speech captivated the room with his struggle and accomplishments and even welcomed us anytime for a tour of the distillery in Alton.
Finally after an hour learning about the liquor industry. We ended the classroom agenda with a lesson from the one and only Dr. Quentin Kidd. Today’s lesson had a 180 spin as we talked about the reality students face with today’s student’s loans. Students today are in a losing battle with the state as prices for college rise causing many students in poverty or minorities to not be able to tend higher education. It wasn’t all sad being that we are a unit full of students, Kidd’s other main topic was talking about how the 1% of America may not have that great of an influence as first thought. Though it seems as if people do not have a voice, people really do have an influence on how the country is run. As we ended class, that seemed to be the theme of today. Everyone can make a difference, no matter what the circumstance, whether it’s just casting a vote, starting a business or just influencing in politics. Everyone has a voice. We arrived back at Bice house for some delicious brisket and mac ‘n cheese from Harvest Moon. This was followed by updates and critiques on our eventual culminating project presentation at the end of this weekend. Overall, a great way to start the final stretch.