Crikey, he’s wearing a kilt! So I’m not sure how many of you picked up the pipes in my intro song.  Love me some Dropkick Murphy’s!

At Welcome to the Majors on Friday, Dean Jarley and George Anders both presented an argument for being unique. Differentiating.  Getting to the One.  I too want you to do things that differentiate yourself.  Next time you’re in the building I want you to look left, look right, look ahead, and look behind you.  What do you see?  People, a lot of them! The Dean said we have over 8000 undergraduate students and graduate 2100 of you every year.  So we have students in GEB 3003 attend Welcome to the Majors to not only learn about the faculty, organizations and services available to help them, but to just get a sense of the enormous scale of this place.  Wonder why we don’t have chairs…you can’t seat that many people in the ballrooms!  This is one class and we have over a thousand of you.  At this level you can become highly commoditized.  The Nestle bottled water of grads.

So before I came out, you heard the Murphy’s playing “It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll!” Why?  It means, to differentiate yourself, to get to the one, you have to do things.  But it also means you have to do them for a reason. You need a goal.  You can’t just run in and do everything.  Why? Cause it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll!  And you can’t just be outrageous.  Why? Cause it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll!

The people that George Anders talked about didn’t look at life as one continuous check list; waiting to be told what to do next. But they didn’t run around crazy trying to do everything either.  They didn’t randomly pick stuff and then do it poorly.  They made smart choices about what to do, when to do it, and who to do it with.  If you want to be THE one, you have to make smart choices about what you will do.  Have a vision and then set a goal.  Studying abroad?  Awesome!  How will that experience tie in to your career goal.  Going to the Exchange?  Awesome?  What did you learn from that speaker that you can use in your career plan?  Do stuff, but do it for a reason.  If not, you aren’t differentiating; you’re just trying to be different…you end up as THAT one!

So what can you do? Well, that’s why I have an Activity List for the Career To-DO List assignment.  Before you start just ticking off activities, think about what you want to do and what will help you get there.  If you don’t have a clue, go see lots of speakers.  If you already have a clue or you work full time, look at what you can do to grow in your role.  Interview managers and volunteer for extra duties so you can learn new skills.  If you want to start a business or already have, look at what you can do to develop your business idea or meet new clients.  And if you don’t wanna do this stuff, then just don’t!  But do us a favor and go be useless somewhere else…  Cause it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll!