Some lessons cannot be taught – they simply have to be learned. Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in the National Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. PBL is a college organization that helps transition students into the business world. At the conference, students compete in various events including, Marketing Analysis, Business Presentations, Business Ethics, Cost Accounting, Hospitality Management, Sports Management, etc.
When we arrived at the hotel, it was time to begin the competition. My partner and I went to the Conference Center to take our Preliminary Marketing Analysis Test. The next day began the intense presentations. My partner and I presented our Preliminary Presentation over The Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, we learned we did not make it to finals for Marketing Analysis.
That night, the students from Nebraska decided to go to Dave n Buster’s Arcade at the mall next door. With all of the fun and exciting games around me, I did not notice that I happened to set my purse down at one of the last games we played. I ran back to all of the games we had played that night, but my expensive Coach purse was nowhere to be found. I immediately took all of the important steps when something like this happens. I cancelled my cards and filed a police report. The good news to this night was that we made it to Finals for Business Presentations, but ended up not placing in the Top Ten.
As a part of my internship with C&A Industries, I was given the opportunity to take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test. If you are unfamiliar with StrengthsFinder, the test is intended to help you find the areas in which you shine in individually. There are thirty-four potential themes. At the end of the test, you are given your top five strengths. My top strength happens to be Futuristic. I am the kind of person who loves to peer into the horizon. I am always thinking about tomorrow and what I am going to do next. This is the probable reason why I left my purse at a game at Dave n Buster’s. I was thinking about the next thing I was going to do! This taught me that I cannot always be in such a hurry for tomorrow. You create tomorrow with the actions that you take today.
The next morning, my father stepped in as my hero. He scanned my birth certificate, my social security and YMCA cards, and my student ID and faxed them to my hotel in hopes that the airport might take them as identification. I returned to the hotel exhausted from losing “everything I had” and decided to take a nap. My brother then called me with some of the best news I had heard in a long time. He explained that the man who had found my purse called the Bellevue Public Library because that was the only number he could find in my purse. The library then called my home to say that this man had my purse. When my brother told me this, I immediately began sobbing. I was eternally grateful. The man met me at my hotel to return my purse to me. He was an extremely kindhearted man and I do not think I will ever be able to repay him.
Another of my top strengths with StrengthsFinder 2.0 is Significance. I am sure if the returner of my purse has taken StrengthsFinder, he received Significance as a result, as well. With this strength, you want to be very significant in the eyes of other people. You want to stand out, be recognized, heard, and known. This theme will keep you reaching and pulling upward, away from the mediocre and toward the exceptional. This man did not want to simply return my purse to Dave n Buster’s management. He did not want to leave it on the ground for someone else to take. No, he wanted to make an impact with me and return it personally. With this small gesture on his part, he became extremely significant in my eyes and especially to the rest of my trip.
So I would like to challenge you. Find the strengths in all people and take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test for yourself. When something like this happens, the first thing you think is “People are completely heartless” and that someone willfully stole your possessions. However, when I received the phone call from my brother and had everything returned to me safely, my faith in humanity was restored. Was the person across your cubicle a little rude to you this morning? Maybe they had a bad night/morning. Everyone around us is experiencing a story we know nothing about. There are truly good people in the world and if you look hard enough, there is something good in us all. You just have to go and find those people and make sure you are one of them, as well.
Jennifer Rosales is a senior at Midland University, majoring in Business Management and Marketing. She participated in the Intern Program at C&A Industries, working with Aureus Group in Accounting and Finance. Jennifer is an organization and event planning guru who loves thinking about the future and what is to come. When she is not working, she enjoys dancing, watching movies and sports games, and attending country music concerts.