Meet Spring Intern Mckenna Cassford

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Major: Human Resources
Minor: Sociology & Marketing
Extracurricular: Bryant University Student Ambassador, Office of Admission Student Coordinator
Graduation: May, 2019


Why did you choose Bryant University?

Bryant was actually the first school that I toured and I instantly fell in love. I loved the way their program is structured so that I could major in the School of Business and still have a minor in the School of Science. While I enjoy Human Resources, I also love Sociology and wanted to be able to pursue it further.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose Human Resources because I love working with people and I do similar work at my job on campus.

What is your favorite part about this internship?

My favorite part of this internship has to be sitting in on interviews and observing to refine my own skills. I look forward to coming in each day knowing that I will learn something new.

Have you had any other internships?

I have not. Through my work as Student Coordinator in the Admission Office at Bryant, I have gained a lot of insight into the on-boarding, training, and personnel management side of HR. It was my campus job that inspired me to enter the world of HR.

What motivates you?

My motivation stems from wanting to be a positive influence for my 2 younger sisters. I’ve always wanted to be a good role model for them and motivate them to be the best that they can be.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I hope to have a steady life and to have traveled to at least some of my bucket list destinations. A dog is also a must!

What are your hobbies?

In my spare time I love hiking, reading, watching Netflix, and traveling. I’m always planning my next trip, currently I am looking into hiking trails in Acadia National Park for my trip in April!

Where is the one place you want to travel in your lifetime?

One of the first places on my bucket list is Athens, Greece. I was (am) a major nerd and have always loved everything about Ancient Greece.

What is the most exciting place you have ever been to?

The most exciting place I have ever been has to be the Chichen Itza ruins in Mexico. While I am a big beach girl, taking the day trip to the ruins was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.

What are you most passionate about?

I’m passionate about my family, my friends, the environment, music, and history. With that said, my friends and family are not as passionate about my random fun facts and music choice as I am.

Taking the Leap: The Importance of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

“All dreams are outside of our comfort zone. Leaving our comfort zone is the price we must pay to achieve them” – Steve Jobs

To be honest- I have never written a blog before, so that is my inspiration for this post. I am stepping out of my comfort zone, in the hopes of improving my communication skills by exploring opportunities in this new outlet (and pleasing my boss).

600px-Globe.svgWe have all experienced a fresh start at some point in our lives, whether it was moving away to college, to a new town, or even a new country. Whenever you look back on one of these experiences you forget about how uncomfortable that change was at first. I remember how uncomfortable I was just moving from middle school to high school, even though I had all of my friends moving up with me. The combination of the older kids and the new environment, with teachers expecting so much more from me, was a lot to take in. Fast forward 6 years and I am moving across the world by myself to live with a group of individuals that I have never met before.

So what changed? What makes us want to step out of our comfort zone? We do it because we are told to. Because everyone always tells us, “This is how you grow; this is how you can become a better person”. And as cliché as it sounds; this almost always rings true. If it turns out to be a great experience, you grow. If it is a terrible experience, you learn from it, and you grow. Everything we experience changes us and shapes us into who we are today and who we are going to become tomorrow.

Thinking back to the airport on the day that I moved to Australia, I distinctly remember the moment after I hugged my mom goodbye and I turned around and began to walk away. I remember vividly the feeling of panic that immediately ensued. This was the moment I officially stepped out of my comfort zone. This was the most miserable and also the most exhilarating moment of my experience abroad, and maybe one of the scarier things I have experienced in my life (even more so than free falling from 14,000 feet). This moment of panic, was a moment that changed my life, I would not trade my experiences abroad for anything in the world. Without experiencing this uncomfortable beginning, I would never had made such great friends and had so many incredible experiences.How-To-Step-Out-Of-Your-Comfort-Zone

These are the types of experiences that are applicable to everything we do in life. They change us, who we are and how we see the world around us. We all have our own comfort zone- the areas in our lives where we feel safe, in control, and at ease. It could be our home, our job, our school, pretty much anything. Stepping out of our comfort zone may never get easier; the panicky, unsure feelings may never go away, but we embrace these feelings once we realize how rewarding these experiences can be.

The comfort zone is not just something that is found in your personal life, it is extremely relevant to your career. And I am not the only one who feels this way- Forbes does too (Forbes Article). If you find yourself in career with little room for growth, if you find yourself interested in another industry or position, go for it! Take a chance and try something new. This is YOUR life, so do what you have to in order to advance in your career, or if your current career path is not making you happy; try out something else. Chase after new opportunities and make the most of the ones that are given to you. If you are too afraid to step out of your comfort zone you will miss out on countless promotions, raises, or career moves.

I know, I make it sound so easy, “Just go for it”, but believe me I know it’s not as easy as it seems. So what can we do to make these changes happen? Here are a few suggestions…

cartoon-eyes Keep your eyes open: Always be on the lookout for new opportunities, new job openings etc. These things can be easy to miss- so make sure you are aware of what is going on in the world around you.

networkingNetworking: Meet new people! Put yourself out there and try to make as many friends as possible (preferably those in high places). Welcome any and all into your circle. These connections can inform you of new opportunities and even get your foot in the door with a recommendation or introduction.

cheerleaderEnlist your own personal cheerleader: Whether it is your spouse, significant other, sibling, parent, or friend. This person could be anyone, anyone who you can talk to about your insecurities and fears and will be by your side for the long haul. This is the kind of person you need to boost your confidence and help to encourage and support you on your new journey.

When you find yourself facing a difficult decision or looking for some new adventure, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and leap. Have faith in yourself and in your ability to adapt and succeed in a new environment. It could be a new career move or a more personal experience. Whatever it is- take the challenges as they come and embrace the changes and new experiences you are having. This is the only way you will ever truly find out what you are capable of. By pushing your limits you find out what you can really do and maybe even some things that you can’t. In either one of these scenarios you benefit. The outcome is not the most important thing (although it may seem it at the time). It is the experience that is most valuable and it is the experience and lessons learned that you will carry with you into the future. As the old adage goes- the lessons learned along the way, you keep forever.

I would like to acknowledge all of my friends in Gold Coast, Australia and my boss Tony Pivirotto for the inspiration to write this post.

Katie Campbell, Bryant University Class of 2016

Finding the Bigger Picture: The Value of Critical Thinking and Strategy

Making moves

                       Making moves

I’ve been told I’m not a good critical thinker. Back in Mrs. Gardener’s colorful 5th grade class we had “critical thinking assessments” of different selections of history each week. Week by week I would receive the same unsatisfactory marks on my paper including a big red circle with the text “MORE?” What more could I say about Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves? Back then I couldn’t see further than that, I didn’t understand the gritty implications that the Emancipation Proclamation had on America for years to come. I’m not saying I should have been a history buff by age 10, this is just an example of how I was not going deep enough with critical thinking. I was missing the final, most important component to critical thinking, the connection. Understanding the events of a situation, the facts and figures, the smallest details is meaningless if you do not realize the consequences and apply them to real scenarios. This crucial last step of critical thinking paves the way for strategy – solving problems, finding alternative solutions, overcoming challenges and reaching goals that were thought to be insurmountable, and achieving lasting success in any endeavor.

Working the gears

                  Working the gears

Critical thinking is the soil and strategy is the seed, you can’t benefit from the fruits of success without either. Strategy can be implemented towards all aspects of life, it lets us learn and grow as individuals and it drives the interconnected realm of business. The ability to deconstruct a situation, process, event in history, whatever it may be, into separate parts to discover how the whole comes together is necessary to fully grasp the infinite value of the bigger picture. This produces a moment of clarity, an “ah-ha!” moment where it all comes together, an awesome moment where all the effort from digging and analyzing and struggling finally pays off. Putting the pieces together doesn’t require formal use of critical thinking or strategy, but they certainly improve the process. The greatest aspect of the bigger picture is that it can mean anything to anyone; the moment can come at any time or place because it is the       result of learning and making progress.

Putting the pieces together

Putting the pieces together

From an individual standpoint, critical thinking means using open-mindedness to seek new outlets of understanding while strategy means the effective use of time and resources to meet personal potential. Many people live their lives never seeing or knowing their full potential, I challenge you to not be one of those people. You don’t have to be an expert to use critical thinking and strategy, you just need the desire to see further and the knowledge will follow. Never stop learning and experiencing, live your life looking for that deeper connection and find your own bigger picture.

I’d like to acknowledge Chris Ratcliffe for the inspiration to write this post.

-Cullen Crowley, Bryant University Class of 2015

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