“All things are possible.”
This message resonated for the 30 students brought to campus recently by the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization to participate in the daylong “Open Minds/Open Doors” event.
According to Garth D. Headley (MS ’07), director of programs, Center for Leadership, College of Business Administration, the campus visit marks the first of several scheduled “Open Minds/Open Doors” activities coordinated by Leadership Miami, a special executive-driven project of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
“This special group of 12- to-15 year-old students has yet to be placed with a big brother or sister,” said Headley, who coordinated the event. “We wanted to expose them to different types of career paths and to help them gain a better understanding of what Miami offers.”
Campus visit provides insights on career options in business, medicine and athletics.
The jam-packed day included a campus tour and presentations faculty and staff from several Florida International University (FIU) departments. Representing the business school, Karyn Bury, marketing and executive coordinator, Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center, and Kunle Ekunkonye (PMBA ’09), web development manager, Department of Marketing, Communications and Recruiting, spoke about the experiences that led them toward their current careers.
In addition, Robert Dollinger, assistant dean, College of Medicine, guided the students through the steps involved in pursuing a career in medicine. He also conducted demonstrations using a few instruments of the trade.
A team from the university’s Athletics Department led a tour of the Panther Arena, where the students watched the FIU girls’ basketball team practice.
Passion fuels a successful career.
During his presentation, Ekunkonye showed the students a video of what is involved in photography shoots plus snippets of produced videos with special effects.
“They asked questions about the photography and videography tools I use and wondered ‘how do you know when you have a passion for doing something?’’’ he said.
The students also participated in an experiential exercise led by Gino Coca-Mir, founder, Project Challenge. Coca-Mir asked them to name an animal with which they identified, then explored what their choices revealed about who they are and what matters most to them.
“We helped them see that they have a world of opportunities when it comes to pursuing a college education and a career of their dreams—a career that allows them to truly do what they love and love what they do,” Headley said.