National Black MBA Association – Austin Chapter, Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) students Griffin Baker and Hannah Holt had the honor of attending the LOT Boot Camp held in conjunction with the 2013 National Conference in Houston.  Griffin and Hannah share a synopsis of lessons learned and their LOT Boot Camp experience:

“Each day was filled of various activities. At 6 AM, we started our day with the Insanity workout and then expanded our cultural vocabulary by learning Mandarin Chinese and Portuguese.

Throughout the day, we would attend several seminars that included speakers such as Sporty King, Marianne Raggins and Benjamin Crump. These were just a few of the many professional speakers we encountered and our personal favorite was Sporty King, one of the finalists for the Toastmasters World Competition. The best personal insight he provided for public speaking is to reach out to you – yourself, not the audience.  We also had the opportunity to visit and tour the University of Houston and Prairie View A&M University.

We learned new concepts, while interacting with LOT students from all around the world – which further demonstrated the importance of networking with people of different backgrounds.  As part of our Boot Camp journey, we also learned that just because you graduate high school and attend college this doesn’t guarantee a job will just fall in your lap. Rather, as LOT students, we need to create our own personal brand and promote ourselves.

All of the boot camp LOT students had the opportunity to attend the conference career expo.  There were hundreds of booths, for us to interact with corporate companies such as 3M, GE, Target Dell and McDonald’s. We gained information on future scholarships and internships.  It was inspiring to see so many people from the black community making a difference in the lives of others.

The highlight of our trip was the Blue Blazer Ceremony – representing of a professional wardrobe. How a young person dresses often has an immediate impact on their self-esteem and behavior and this is the core credibility needed to advance ideas in a professional setting.

We are now part of the elite Chairman’s Circle of Excellence in recognition of successful completion of the LOT Boot Camp. Gregory Gibson, President, NBMBAA – Austin Chapter, took part in our induction ceremony. It was a true honor to be in front of thousands of NBMBAA members.

This experience was a once and a lifetime opportunity, and we thank the NBMBAA for including us. Our most valuable lesson learned is:  leaders are lifelong learners, and the best leaders create more leaders.”