The Global Speak event, held at LIM College’s Maxwell Hall, turned out to be a very intimate and eye opening experience. For those who were not able to come to this event, I can assure you that it was very moving and inspiring.
This event was based off of five extremely credible, down to earth individuals. Three of which belonged to Be Social Change, a non-profit startup focusing on educating and building awareness to students who can carry on the social change process. Allie Mahler, Marcos Salazar, and Sarit Wishnevski work for Be Social Change, and encouraged the audience of how important it is to build awareness to communities about any social cause you may be passionate about. Allie Mahler, co-founder of Be Social Change, truly believed that one has to take the “winded path” life may throw you on, and in the end it should all work out. She believes this because she chose a career in social entrepreneurship, which was not even close to her studies of dance therapy. However, she chose this career based off of her passion and uses her studies of dance therapy metaphorically in her every day routine. That is her individual strength and creativity that she can bring to Be Social Change. Marcos Salazar, co-founder of Be Social Change, is passionate about the impact that social change can have on individuals and in communities. He also switched careers before he became involved in Be Social Change. Marcos previously was the Vice President of Programs at the White House Project, as well as Technology Strategist and Leadership Researcher for Girl Scouts of the USA. Sarit Wishnevski joined Be Social Change in 2012, but studied creative writing and literature in college. She has always been passionate about helping others, and also volunteers with Story Corps and the Future Project. Being at this event, I could feel the positive energy between all three of them and how they truly believed in creating a social change to better society.
The other two had different stories that brought them to their passions of social entrepreneurship, but still had similarities with the Be Social Change group in how they took risks to find a satisfying and enriching career. Lisa Kim, studied law and film in college and is able to practice law in California and New York. However, she was truly moved when she witnessed human trafficking in Uganda and Cambodia. This became her push to work for Nomi Network. At the event, Lisa explained how it felt good to be a part of something that could actually put a stop to human trafficking and other heinous acts. Being involved in child units as a lawyer, she said how it didn’t feel like it was enough to just lock up the criminal-that was not solving the bigger picture. Witnessing all the crime every day was draining. Jessica Martin is an Innovation Associate at Acumen Fund. Originally she studied economics, and within her travels to China and seeing their environment and how bad it was, she became more inspired to be a part of social entrepreneurship. Jessica is passionate about tackling poverty, economic affairs, environmental affairs, and how international and national governments are handling these serious issues.
There were many well-made points discussed at this event and a few really stuck out to me. All five agreed that what you study in school should inform you, but not limit you. This means that one should not take things so literally or structurally when finding a career. Being open to new ideas and opportunities can bring you to lengths you may have never thought you could reach. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and trust that it will work out. Marcos made a great point when he said, “The major thing is immersing yourself outside of your comfort zone to find what you are passionate about.” A lot of students at LIM could really benefit from this advice. With all this being said, creativity is not a straight line when following your passions. Sometimes you need to physically take yourself away from where you are to find your creative self.
With all of these great points that were discussed, some questions arose. How can a struggling student gain awareness on his or her own? How can one bring creativity in a field where many “original” ideas are really most people’s ideas? What are the most important learning objectives I should bring to my career? How will I stand out? All five answered our questions very specifically. The key, which most LIM students have heard, is networking. However, one has to be credible and approach others with sincerity, not fakeness just to get what one wants out of the other person. “Think of connecting professionally as dating. Don’t go in with ulterior or selfish motives-build that relationship.” As far as creativity, one can make the simplest thing creative just by how he or she takes on a task. Lisa said, “Even communication can be a sense of creativity. You need to think outside the box, and work with what you have.” Any act of volunteerism is huge. Anyone can make a difference. This kind of thinking is what causes the “ripple effect” in bringing change, which causes the big splash of making it happen. Lastly, you can make yourself stand out by making sure you are indispensable; bring everything you have learned to the table and show off your credibility. You will find yourself stuck after graduating, but once you make it to that “upper-level”, take the lessons you have learned and apply it to your everyday endeavors.
Before this event, I was not thinking so much about non-profit organizations, and wasn’t sure if that could be something I would be interested in, but attending this event really gave me a whole different perspective on non-profit causes. Just by listening to these amazing individuals talk about their dreams and passions, and how they managed to succeed in getting where they are today, would give any college student more hope and courage in reaching out, taking risks, and truly getting to where he or she wants to be. I came in to simply report the event, and ended up networking with a possible interview. This was truly one of those moments where the phrase “You never know where life will take you” fits perfectly. It was more than a non-profit speaking event, it was about how one person can get from point A to point B, and enjoy the journey and learning experience. This was about learning how to find oneself, and listening to these experienced people on how they managed to go through the struggles of college and post-college life. I learned a lot from Global Speak, and realized there really is a bigger picture on bringing creativity into my future career. The lasting idea that I think will follow the students that attended this event is the Be Social Change motto: BE exploring passions to figure out who you are. Social connections and collaborations with others are key components to making a difference. Change what needs to be changed and make it happen.
- Jaime Bartholomai