Sunday, April 29, 2012

This is Robert, the guy that would do anything for his family.


Robert and I first met in British Literature during the first semester.  He seemed a bit of a slacker and perhaps one that just needed a reality check to get his priorities in line.  However, even though he was not always the best student, he still had a great sense of humor.  I first got to know Robert when he taught me how to throw a football in the gym.  He is also the one who has introduced me to most of the upperclassmen on campus.  Robert grew up in Warrensburg, Missouri.  He lived with his two parents and two sisters and brother.  Robert laughs as he tells me, "Between the four of us, there was never a dull moment."  Robert really looks up to his dad, which one can easily tell by looking at his future plans.  Robert graduates this year and is planning on joining the military just like his dad did.  He is hoping on being stationed in Kansas City, Missouri where he will work as a psychologist.  Robert may not always be the best student in the classroom; however, he really is a good person with a bright future ahead.  He realizes that at times he lived life in the fast lane, and he wishes that he would have slowed down every once in awhile.  Although, he also believes that you have one life to live, and so you better live it.  But by saying this, he still knows that living life, also means taking a step back to figure your life out. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A neat article about not just getting to know people, 
but instead people that you should know!

The 25 People You Need

 in Your Network

By:Adelaide Lancaster 

As an entrepreneur (or aspiring one), you constantly
 hear about the value of expanding your network. But the
 truth is, when it comes to business relationships, it’s not 
quantity that matters—it’s quality. Having memorable, 
substantial relationships with people who understand your
 business and can help you over time is the real key to networking success.
So, instead of forcing yourself to meet and greet as many 

new people as possible, spend your time focusing on a few 
strategic relationships. You can get all the inspiration, information, 
resources, and connections you need to move your business 
forward from five people in each of five strategic areas. Read 
on for how to build your 25-person power network.
People With Similar But More Established Businesses

Acknowledging that great businesses have come before you
 doesn’t make you any less smart or capable, and it doesn’t
 make your company any less successful. So don’t necessarily
 look at the established companies in your field as competition
—instead, see them as your mentors! Learning what they’ve done well
 and what they wish they had done differently can give
 you insight on what’s worked, plus help you avoid learning things 
the hard way. Don’t be shy here—pick a few of your role models, take 
them to lunch, and do a lot of listening. 

Businesses Who You Admire in Another Industry

It’s also important to get out of your own sandbox. It’s easy
 to be focused solely on your industry, but that really limits 
you from seeing the innovation and ingenuity that exists elsewhere. 
Smart entrepreneurship is all about transferrable learning. 
Think about other industries you find interesting and what
 they might teach you about your own business or customers. 
What about their tactics and techniques could be incorporated 
into your own shop? Pick five people you find fascinating in
 a wide variety of industries—and learn 
everything you can from them.

Smart People Who Make You Think Differently

Similarly, you should connect to people who help you 
broaden your perspective and see the world in a different 
light. These may be entrepreneurs, but they certainly don’t 
have to be—they can be anyone who asks the tough questions
 and doesn’t mind pushing the envelope once in a while. 
Make sure that a couple people in this group are those who
 you don’t automatically agree with. Few business strategies 
are automatically right or wrong, and people who challenge 
what you tend to think can be a great check and balance for
 your decisions. 

People that Love Being in the Know

As an entrepreneur, you’ll spend much of your time thinking
 about the things that you don't know—business 
strategy, technical details, resources, rules, you name it. Of
 course, all of that info is out there somewhere, but it still 
requires lots of time sifting through unvetted leads to find. 
Fortunately, some people pride themselves on being walking 
encyclopedias. Get to know them. Ask them questions often, 
and take them to coffee to pick their brain from time to time.
 (In return, be sure to share your resources and experiences, too.) 

Your Entrepreneurial Pals

Perhaps most importantly, you need your posse: your confidantes
 who will cheer you on when things are great, and hear about
 the worst (with no judgment) when they’re not. After all,
 entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart, and only other 
entrepreneurs can truly understand the complex happiness/exhaustion
 relationship that comes with running a business. Make sure 
that you have people you can count on to help out when you
 need it most. (And make sure to reciprocate by lending an 
ear, hand, or shoulder when they need it, too.)
Jacey is never afraid to be herself.
Jacey is a cute and quirky girl that everyone should try to get to know.  She's not one of those type of girls that tells you want you want to hear-she is going to flat out say what you need to hear.  Whether it involves boys, school, or sports Jacey is the one I go to for advice.  Jacey loves to wear sweat pants with her hair up, but when it is time to get dressed up: she will wear the trendiest outfit on campus. Someone she looks up to is Beyonce.  I laugh when she tells me this, and she says, "No! Not just because of her curves, I mean she's got talent too! She's successful."  No matter what Jacey ends up doing in life, she will be successful, there is no doubt about it.  Jacey lives a few suites away from me, so I can see her porch when I leave my room.  Seven out of ten times, she is sitting in her favorite chair with her homework on her lap.  She constantly studies in order to maintain the 4.0 she is striving to have.  Jacey and I became so close this year that we have actually decided to live together next semester.  We went from being total strangers to best friends in a time span of about 7 months.  She is one of those friends in life, that pushes you to be your very best.  She lives her life by her favorite quote:

Good, Better, Best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is your best.

She expects it from herself to follow this quote, but she also expects it from those around her as well.

I feel like meeting new people is all about stepping out of one's comfort zone.  It involves trying new things, and making new experiences.  It incorporates the idea of taking chances, and living life to the fullest.  Doing this can be an adrenaline rush, and it can make a person's life happier! Check out this cool video I found about making life count! 
This is Bongiwe.

Bongiwe From Swaziland

When I first met Bongiwe, she seemed shy.  I saw her on a daily basis, but it seemed like I had to really ask a lot of questions in order to get her talking.  Once we became closer, I realized, that once she starts talking, you are in for a treat!  Bongiwe never fails in having a story to tell!  She grew up in Swaziland, which I am unfamiliar with.  I love listening to her when she tells me about the culture she grew up with, and listen to her as she speaks SiSwati, French, and Zulu on the phone with her family and friends.  She was raised in Swazi and ever since she can remember, her role model has been Nelson Mandella.  She explains to me how he liberated South Africa, which is close to Swaziland.  She says that, "I grew up being told stories of him and how he was such a hero. He spent many years in jail, and he was innocent the whole time.  He did nothing but good."  When she talks about her childhood, any one can see how she lights up, remembering all of her family and friends that are so far away right now.  When she started school, she had mostly male friends and just a few female friends.  However, society tended to look down on this, as male and female relationships were not encouraged. She laughs as she tells me the story about what she and her friends used to do.  At school, they would always have to pray in the morning, before recess, and before they went home at the end of the day.  There were 70 students in the small classroom.  Bongiwe says that this made it easy to get away with a lot.  At the end of the day, she and her friends would sneak out of the window to head home during the last prayer.  She thought that she would always get away with it, but one day her sister picked her up early, and Bongiwe was no where to be found.  It caused quite a bit of commotion, and her Dad punished her.  Bongiwe said, "That's the last time I ever snuck out of the window!"  Another time she remembers getting in trouble is when she walked with her helper to the bus stop.  They left around one, but Bongiwe did not come back until 6 that night.  Her mother grabbed a stick and punished her severely.  Still to this day, Bongiwe sticks to her story that she was with her helper the entire time! When I read this line back to her, she corrects me.  "No, not my story, but the truth."  Even though Bongiwe did have her rebellious times, she still has all her priorities in the right place.  She is excited to earn her college degree from Westminster, and expresses how much her education means to her.  Even though Bongiwe and I have had different experiences with different environments, we still have developed a close bond in the past semester because what is new for her is not always new for me; however, it works both ways.

Since this blog is about ways to meet new people, I thought that this 
was an interesting article from Forbes magazine that many of you would like to read!

5 New Ways to Network
By: Patty Seawall
If you want to groan every time you hear the word “networking,” well, 
I don’t exactly blame you. The word conjures images of uncomfortable 
schmooze-fests, where suit-clad business executives work the room, wine 
glass in hand, feigned interest at the ready. Who would enjoy that?
But guess what? Networking doesn’t have to be that bad—in fact, it shouldn’t
 be. The goal is to meet new people and expand your professional network, 
and there’s no reason those activities have to be confined to conferences and 
industry happy hours.  All it takes is a little imagination, and networking 
might even be kind of fun. 
1. Reinvent the Meet-and-Mingle
Is there an activity you’ve been wanting to try, 
or a new skill you’d like to learn? Pick an activity
—like taking up golf, learning to make your own
wine, joining a book club, or anything else that
other stressed-out professionals might do to 
unwind—and try it out! (Groupon is a great place 
to look for new ideas.) People in a relaxed, 
social setting are usually more open to conversation,
 which makes this the perfect opportunity to open
 up, ask questions, and build new relationships.
2. Be In With the In Crowd
In nearly every big city, there are at least a few
 restaurants where the politicos, the PR people, 
or the state workers like to go to mingle with their 
own. Even professional chefs have their favorite 
after-hours haunts. And a little legwork or friendly 
conversation with a knowledgeable bartender will 
give you some ideas of the hot spots in your industry.
 So, pick your place, grab a friend, cozy up to the 
bar, and strike up a conversation with the person next
 to you. Putting yourself (literally) next to other
 people in your field will increase your chances of 
networking success.
3. Take Up a Cause
Consider volunteering your time where your 
heart is. Pick a local church, animal sanctuary, 
or non-profit where you can put in a few hours after 
work or on a weekend alongside other people in your
 area. Or, lend your professional expertise to a neighborhood
 school: Put together a presentation (complete with
 handouts) about your field for career night, when 
parents (read: new contacts) are also in attendance.
4. Work It
Fundraisers usually have no trouble finding people
 who are happy to fork over $200, get dressed up, and 
enjoy the wine and hors d’oeuvres—what they really 
need is extra hands. So call your favorite charity and offer to 
work the registration desk. You’ll get to be there for the entire
 event, you’ll have a built-in chance to meet and talk with the 
(often high-profile) attendees, and you won’t have to pay a dime to do so.
5. Reconnect With Your Past
College and high school reunions or alumni events are the hidden gems of 
the networking world. They offer a room full of people with 
diverse interests and careers who you already know (or at least, who
 you have something to talk about with)! So, after you reminisce with
your former classmates, club-mates, and sorority sisters, strike up a 
conversation about their careers, and talk about yours. Your old friends 
could be (or at least put you in touch with) valuable connections.
Whether you’re looking to leave your dead end job or just want to
 connect with people who may lead you to your next career move,
 face-to-face networking is still one of the best job search tactics 
out there. And if you’re willing to think outside the box, it might
 actually be fun, too.

Monday, April 23, 2012

This is Imanni jumping in Austria.

Imanni Durre

Imanni is one of my best friends that I have met so far at Westminster.  Before coming here, I had no clue who she was, and all through freshman orientation, I just knew that she was the girl from Milwaukee.  However, she is so much more than just a girl from the "414" as she refers to it.  In order to know Imanni, one must know her most treasured items.  That would include Hello Kitty items, her music, her pictures of family and friends, and her necklace that was given to her my her madre.  Imanni has a wide range of culture throughout her family.  She is jamaican, caucasian, african american, and cuban.  One time we were taking a survey together, and Imanni  laughed and said, "They don't have my ethnicity, so I'm just gonna put other!"  Imanni is always saying things that put me in a good mood.  She constantly sings jamaican songs that I have never heard of, and she obsesses over Internet shopping.  One of her favorite items to purchase over the Internet is anything that is Hello Kitty.  This girl has Hello Kitty outfits, earrings, pillow cases, laptop covers, posters, and backpacks.  If it has Hello Kitty's name on it, then it has Imanni's name on it as well.  Another trait about Imanni is her constant love for music.  She has thousands of songs, and her laptop is always playing.  She downloads new songs every day, and teaches me new genres of music on a weekly basis.  She knows all the greatest artists, and if Bob Marley sings it, she knows it.  During the summer, she usually goes to anywhere from 7 to 10 concerts, all with different genres of music.  This diverse, accepting, and hyper girl, is anything but just a girl from Wisconsin.  

This is Tony.


I knew Tony from basketball, as we both played on the Varsity teams here at Westminster.  This meant that we traveled together, and therefore knew each others names, but that was about it.  I really got to know Tony when he came over to my suite-mate's room to work on a project.  I was painting my nails and Tony came in with all of his papers.  He proceeded to say, "What's good with you all?!" One thing that I learned from the start about Tony is that he is absolutely hilarious.  As we are having a serious conversation about the project, he pulls a Twinkie out of his pocket.  We all laughed, like "Tony! How do you have a twinkie?"  He smiled and pulled out four more.  Tony always is up for a good time, as one can tell by his smile.  In his words, "I can make a party out of no party!"  Although, Tony would not be where he is today without his momma.  He says that his momma is someone that he looks up to, and he wants to raise his kids like his momma raised him.  At first, I did not think that Tony and I had much in common except for the game of basketball, but I later found out that we both share the same favorite NBA players.  This past year I went to Chicago to watch the Chicago Bulls play verse the Phoenix Suns, cheering on both Steve Nash and Derrick Rose.  As it turns out, Tony was doing the same thing.  He told me that, "Those two players are who I want to portray my game after."  Tony is a guy that I can count on whenever I need a laugh or someone to rebound for me in the gym.  Nobody has as big of a heart as Tony, as he proudly proclaims, "I love everybody!"
This is Kristi at her sister's wedding.

Kristi's Bible at Tiffs

When I decided to do this project, I thought it would be a great way to meet people.  However, I thought that after the conversation of getting to know them, that would be the end of it.  I did not realize that I would actually form close relationships with these people.  They became friends that I can rely on, vent to, or grab Taco Bell at 1 in the morning.  The first person that I decided to write a story about is Kristi.  Talking to Kristi was actually a dare.  She was sitting at a table at the bar, with shots spilled across the scratched wood.  Sitting in front of her was a notepad scribbled with writing and the Bible.  The pages were filled with every imaginable highlighter color available, and she was intent on reading the Holy Word.  I slid my way into the seat across from her, and said, "Hi, I'm Tylere.  This probably seems weird, but I was wondering if you would answer some questions for me?"  She slid her glasses off and sent a warm smile my way.  I knew from right there that this was the start to a great friendship.  We discussed the Bible, our beliefs, and how we both had moments where following our faith became difficult: especially in college.  We talked for about 45 minutes, and as the bar was closing, we exchanged numbers.  Kristi didn't hesitate to use my number, as she texted me that night inviting me to church the next morning.  Ever since then we would go to church together, call each other about anything, attend Monday night study sessions, and encourage each other to stay true to our faith.  Kristi was baptized last Sunday, and she will be graduating this year.  It may have seemed strange that she was reading a Bible at Tiffs, but it created a friendship that will last a lifetime.  When I needed someone to be there for me, God gave me Krisi.