Monday, September 21, 2015

Gratitude and Growth

Weld Central, Fort Lupton, Frederick, Longmont, Downtown Denver, Green Valley Ranch.
Industry Partners, High School Students, Alumni, Board Members and PLRM students.

This last week was truly a journey of appreciation and affirmation. So often we get so caught up in the day-to-day of what we do that the big picture is murky at best. After a week on the road I have been reminded of the following:

You've Come A Long Way

As I sat in the guidance counselor's offices and high school cafeterias in Weld County I was reminded that not too long along it was you that walked those halls.  From the awkward high school junior that has difficulty making eye contact to the wide eyed senior that sees nothing by possibilities, there is one commonality they are young and a blank slate.  

PLRM asks and requires a great to deal of our students. We do this knowing it is what industry demands. As faculty and PLRM Leadership it is our job to listen to the challenges, concerns and opportunities of our industry friends and translate those needs into our courses and advising. After years of teaching, coaching and mentoring here is what I know:
  • Opportunities for growth. You have consistently received constructive feedback with grace, openness and dignity. Thank you.
  • Trade-offs. You have taken our feedback, matured and grown up in short order, often at the expense of the other college shenanigans that you could be engaging in. Thank you.
Industry is taking notice and is impressed with your humility and gratitude. Never lose sight of this. It is our differentiator. 

Small Can Be Mighty

I clocked many hours with young land professional that have undying allegiance to their AAPL accredited alma-mater and walked away with several thoughts:
  • What we lack in funding we make up for in heart and commitment. All of the work we do outside the classroom on professional development matters. Everyday we get better, not because it is easy, but because we know that we are better for it. I would put our students toe-to-toe with students from competing programs and bet on you every time. 
  • We are a start up. We have all the benefits and pitfalls that come with that. We are agile and accessible with endless possibilities. We also experience growing pains as we prove ourselves in a well established market. It is my hope that as we get bigger and more established we do not lose our creativity and flexibility. These are attributes that are uniquely Western and grow and test our character on a daily basis.

We Are All Ambassadors

Choose your words wisely and choose your actions even more carefully. We are ambassadors for this industry, our program and our university. We are only as good as the last graduate from our program. 
  • Make our alumni proud. All the of graduates that came before you are out there paving the way for you everyday, do not disappoint.
  • Be an advocate for our industry. Do this with an appreciation for all opinions and perspectives. Do this with humility and a willingness to learn. Be proud of our profession and shatter old stereo types.
  • Be a recruiter. Go home on the holidays and find those in your communities that would love to follow in your foots steps. Visit your high schools and community events and share what it means to be a mountaineer.

Keep doing what you are doing and do more of it.  
Western UP.


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