On September 13, 2016, I had the opportunity to partake in one of the Debate activities where David Axelrod, Democratic strategist came to talk about the evolving media and political landscape. Regardless of your political affiliations, one of the big takeaways that I took from his presentation was the power of your story.
I learned that he heard President John F. Kennedy speak in New York City when he was a young child, that he sold campaign buttons for Robert F. Kennedy when he was 13, that he worked for the Chicago-based Hyde Park Herald while he was an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago, and so much more. As someone who admittedly was not as familiar with Mr. Axelrod’s story as other people are, he sold me on being fully qualified for the positions that he has held since being in college. He told his story in a way that was personal, impactful, and more importantly, memorable.
David Axelrod’s presentation, and the Debate season as a whole, is a great metaphor for the importance of your personal story. As you think about how you want to brand yourself and how you want to take advantage of different opportunities throughout your undergraduate career and beyond, it will be important to think about your story. What experiences have you had which are driving your desire to pursue a particular path? What stories could you elaborate on if someone were to ask you about how you have been successful in a given area? Why are you interested in a particular opportunity or position? Why should someone choose you over another candidate?
You want to get to a point in your life where you know your story better than anyone else and that you are able to convey to others important nuggets of your story that they could then remember and repeat. My biggest takeaways from David Axelrod were that he has been passionate about politics since he was a young boy, has followed that path and been very successful along the way. What will your story be?
Want to further explore how to articulate your story? Schedule an appointment with a career counselor by calling 516-463-6060 or by visiting www.hofstra.edu/careerhub. Looking forward to hearing your story soon!
Ava Danville, MBA
Assistant Director, The Career Center