Contributed by Emma F. Maynard, Student Success Advisor in the Office of Graduate Programs at the Cameron School of Business.
It’s here! It is finally here. Welcome to 2021- yes, the beacon of hope we all desperately kept our eye on as we trudged through the murky and unpredictable waters of the year, 2020. As we gear up for what we hope is a year of possibilities, I encourage you to reflect on the shadows that remain with us from our perseverance through one of the most historic times in our lives. If you’re a believer in silver linings, then perhaps you can recognize the strengths, dreams and aspirations ignited by the frustrations of a year that has tried to take so much.
I think one of the most impactful things 2020 gave to us was a scaffolding lesson on adaptability, ingenuity, appreciation and vision. I know, it seems a little farfetched to give 2020 that much credit but hear me out.
We began the year as any other, busy at work, at school, in the community and with friends and family. Planning our busy schedules around social events, commutes to and from the office, volunteering and connecting with our networks. Then March arrived and without warning, our social pattern was abruptly interrupted and faded into isolation. We could have spent the rest of the year this way, but we didn’t. We adapted, we found a way to continue and press forward. I’ve seen this first-hand here at UNC Wilmington. The show had to go on, (maybe a little off script), but it did.
Once we knew we could adapt to, “a new normal,” (I know, I’m sorry for using the most played out term of 2020), it was time to figure out how. We all began to evolve with the changes to our environment. The world looked and functioned quite differently — but that didn’t stop us. Instead, we created, tested, implemented, improved and mastered ingenious practices to restore a sense of normalcy. As the fog slowly clears, we must take a moment to recognize how much these successful advancements in our technology, daily practices and communication showcase the unparalleled skillset of those that made them happen. Add that to your resume!
The foundations of adaptability coupled with ingenious solutions to what at first seemed like insurmountable obstacles allowed me (and I hope you, too) to rediscover moments of calmness in the chaos. Things started to fall into place. I discovered authentic appreciation in the moments I found peace. Without a doubt, we all found deeper appreciation for our families, friends, colleagues, and communities as we witnessed each other dig deep and battle the past year with all we have. Perseverance is inspiring. I urge you to take a moment and reflect on what you appreciate more today than you did a year ago.
Now what? It’s 2021. You’ve laid out a foundation to kick off this year stronger than any new beginning you’ve ever started — what will that mean to you? One thing I think it means is you might just have the strongest resume of any candidate looking to advance their career. Don’t see the connection? Let’s backtrack a moment. 2020 took away a lot, but remember it also GAVE you something. It gave you the adaptability to succeed in any environment – a hiring managers dream. It gave you time for ingenuity, creatively producing solutions to problems which any company will note as a desirable attribute. It gave you reason to prioritize appreciation, recognizable by a search committee hoping to bring on a candidate who will value all members of the team. All that’s left is to put vision into action. Might I first suggest updating your resume and LinkedIn Profile with these skills. Now, consider what gap exists between where you are and where you want to go — then, find a bridge.
In the Cameron School of Business, our U.S. News and World Report 2020 award-winning Graduate Programs allow you to seamlessly pursue your educational goals while respecting and valuing the many roles you might also play during the day as a parent, partner, friend, professional, caregiver, and many more. We would love to be a part of your 2021—a new year, full of possibilities.
Robert T. Burrus, Jr., Ph.D., is the dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, named in June 2015. Burrus joined the UNCW faculty in 1998. Prior to his current position, Burrus was interim dean, associate dean of undergraduate studies and the chair of the department of economics and finance. Burrus earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Wake Forest University. The Cameron School of Business has approximately 90 full-time faculty members and 30 administrative and staff members. The AACSB-accredited business school currently enrolls approximately 2,600 undergraduate students in three degree programs and 750 graduate students in four degree programs. The school also houses the prestigious Cameron Executive Network, a group of more than 200 retired and practicing executives that provide one-on-one mentoring for Cameron students. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visit http://csb.uncw.edu/. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].
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