By Tameka Williamson
“If you want to stand out, don’t be different; be outstanding” ~ Meredith West
It’s almost time for summer break, everyone is in countdown mode. Yes, it is a time to breathe, relax, relate and release for educators and students. For students aspiring to go to the next level, become leaders of excellence and stand out amongst the crowd, summer break is not a break at all. One of the challenges of being a leader working towards a goal is having to make sacrifices along the journey until the target has been reached. This is one of those times.
As I coach students on how to Get Noticed so they can Get Admitted into the college of their choice and Get Funded, I challenge them to think about how they are different from their fellow students. What makes them special? Why should a company hire them? A School admits them? A scholarship committee funds them? What is their unique selling proposition (USP) that adds value to others? Think about these questions and ask yourself the same thing and ask your child. To add some framework to these questions, below are 6 Smart Moves Youth Should Make on their mission to Getting Noticed, Getting Admitted and Getting Funded.
- Get a Job: get experience, earn some cash, build your savings and increase your network. Working on a job helps to establish, build and strengthen ones work ethic, leadership skills, solve problems, and think critically.
- Travel: explore new areas, summer abroad programs and experience new things. Our life is changed and enhanced by the people we meet and things we experience. Living in a global economy requires you to become globally minded.
- Internships/Summer Enrichment: work with professionals in your desired career field to gain industry knowledge and enhance your career (this can be paid/unpaid). It’s all about gaining experience, expanding your depth and networking with individuals who can provide valuable insight and open doors for you. You can also accomplish this by participating in summer enrichment camps and programs focused on leadership, college, science, gaming, etc.
- Start a Project: colleges are looking for leaders and innovators. So, start a business, create a community service initiative, etc. that benefit others, add value and make a difference
- Volunteer: it’s important to give back and it’s another great way to increase your network. Don’t limit yourself to just volunteering, think about how you can initiate change and become a change agent for your community and others. It’s about leadership and philanthropy.
- Take Summer Classes: get college ready by enrolling in classes at your local institution or community college. Students who are academically prepared are afforded the best opportunities during recruitment and college admissions.
BONUS Tip: Read - expand your vocabulary and knowledge by reading a diverse group of books, journals, newspapers or blogs (pleasure, leadership, business, financial, etc.); as well as write and submit articles or blogs
Executing some or all of these strategies will position youth to obtain college success because they will be equipped with the tools that enable them to Get Noticed, Get Admitted and Get Funded.
“The hardest struggle of all is to be something different from what the average man is.” ~ Charles Schwab
(Article originally posted on “My Own College Coach” Blog)
Editor in Chief , B.L.O.G. Magazine
Tameka Williamson, The WILL Power Success Coach and Your Personal College Coach is a Best Selling Author and a 6 Sigma Black Belt in Lean/Process Improvement, who analyze and create systems for change. She teach students and leaders about the 6 WILLs needed to Win in Education and Life that redefine the word Possible so they can accomplish more FASTER. Being a Certified Speaker, Trainer and Coach for the John Maxwell Team, she has developed programs around the 6 WILLs that bring positive, sustainable changes in people’s lives, businesses, and education. Winning Intentionally at Leading Life (WILL) is modeled developing 21st Century Leaders of Today, Tomorrow and the Future so they are positioned to Get Noticed, Get Admitted, Get Funded and Get Employed. She is also a graduate of Southern University A&M College with a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Webster University with a Masters of Business Administration. In addition to being an entrepreneur, coach, trainer, speaker and author, Tameka is an Adjunct Business Professor.