Last weekend, I had the opportunity to go to California to attend the Circle of Change Conference at California State University, Dominguez Hills. The conference was a leadership networking conference. We connected with many professionals, mostly from the media field, who provided inspiration and career tips to help us get to the next level in our careers. There were professionals from NBC, CBS, Nestle, Pepsi, Disney, and Warner Bros. Every individual had a very personal story that got them to the place where they are now.
11 students from NYIT Manhattan and 8 from NYIT Old Westbury flew into California on Thursday night. After we arrived our first stop was Buffalo Wild Wings and then bed.
The conference started at 8:45. The beginning of the day reminded me a lot of orientation because we had ice breakers led by student leaders. We had to find a partner and come up with handshakes and play charades. After that our first speaker was a man named, Joshua Fredenburg, who is a national speaker and the creator of the Circle of Change Conference. The way he spoke and kept us captivated was inspiring on its own. His message was basically find something you love and figure out how to make a career out of it.
After that, there was a panel of women who were asked questions about their careers. There was one women who was an HR manger at Nestle. Another lady was an international speaker, author, and consultant. Also there was a CBS Entertainer and a dating TV host for FYI TV. All of their stories were very interesting especially, Dr. Barbara Young, who was the international speaker, author, and consultant. She went to a segregated high school, then to college at age 15. After that she got pregnant at age 19 and her husband was very abusive, so she left him. She had two kids and had to drop out of college. She ended up going back to college at age 39. She ended up getting her Ph. D. The lesson I learned from her is you can follow your dreams no matter what age and what you’ve been through.
After the conference, we ended up going to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame and getting In n Out Burger.
We started our morning with Keynote speaker, Kevin Bracy, a man who overcame abuse and violence. He pursued his dreams and became a professional baseball player in Canada and then followed another dream to become a professional speaker. His message was very moving and uplifting in the morning. After, we had an hour long session with “The Dating Doctor.” David Coleman won Entertainer of the Year and was honored 14 times as America’s Speaker of the Year for his programs on dating and relationships. He gave everybody advice on all things love. Throughout the afternoon we had more panel speaker on social responsibility, business, and so much more. My favorite part of the day was the evening speaker. Troy Stende came into speak more about leadership. He explained that leaders understand they have doubts and worries, but a good leader uses that to persevere and work harder. He gave everybody a piece of thick wood. We were to right a fear or doubt we have that we wanted to “break through” in order to move forward. He taught us different techniques to break the wood. I was 100% sure that breaking that wood was impossible, but I ended up doing it with no problem.
The Circle of Change Conference was a great experience and it was even better because it was in California!