Students at Minot State University learned about the importance of making a plan for their future and standing out from the crowd on Oct. 16 from speaker Arel Moodie.
Moodie, a nationally known motivational speaker and the author of "Your Starting Point to Student Success," grew up in the Brooklyn projects in a family that was on welfare, but went on to become a top entrepreneur.
From the beginning, Moodie's drive to succeed set him apart. Moodie said when he was in high school he wanted to be 10 times better than an alumni who came back to the school and was introduced to kids there as a success story. In college, he was active on campus and started student groups. While his GPA was average, Moodie said, his college involvement stood out when it was time for him to apply for internships.
Moodie told students at Minot State that the people they hang around with on a day-to-day basis will matter.
He referred to the "average of five theory," meaning that a person will become the average of the five people he sees most often. Students whose friends are failing their classes will likely find that they are also failing their classes, while those whose friends like to study will probably have higher GPAs.
In work, too, the people they know will matter, said Moodie, who said the best jobs are never advertised on sites like Craigslist or (Monster.com).
"It's who knows you and who likes you," said Moodie, who said what matters most is how those people talk when the student isn't in the room.
Professors who might be helpful to them are watching them all the time, said Moodie, and paying note to which students ask for help during office hours and which only ask for help during the last two weeks of the semester, when they want to boost their grade.
People who have good, interesting jobs most often got them because someone recommended them for the job or someone told them about a job opening that was coming up or brought them into the fold. If they ask their friends and family how they got their jobs, Moodie predicted that the students will discover this to be true.
In addition, he said students should make a habit of getting to know people who attend events like the student success seminar, because those people are most likely to be successful in another five to 10 years.
Moodie follows the advice one of his mentors gave him to "Do what most people don't, so you have what most people won't."
Moodie's speech was sponsored by the MSU Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning, Enrollment Services, and the POWER Center.