Kennedy Center grad gives career advice
A summer sales job may result in thousands of doors getting slammed in one’s face, but according to a BYU grad, all that hard work could open the door to a dream job.
Spencer R. Edgin, a graduate of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, spoke Wednesday in the Herald R. Clark Building in a Kennedy Center lecture. He gave advice about career choices and explained the benefits of having a Kennedy Center degree.
Edgin said there were three major skills he gained from the degree he earned from the Kennedy Center.
“First, I was able to further develop skills in working with diverse groups of people,” Edgin said. “The second, strengthen abilities to form and create good arguments. Third, negotiations.”
While in his junior year of college, Edgin said he started an unpaid internship with Merrill Lynch. He said there wasn’t anything special about the internship, just that it gave him real life experience.
“It was a huge stepping stone to finding applicable experience that people would recognize,” Edgin said.
He said he learned an important life lesson when, for a summer, he sold satellite dishes in Pittsburgh with a friend from his mission. He said it was the worst summer of his life because of all the horrible experiences he had to deal with. By the end of the summer all the other salesmen had left except for him. He decided not to leave because he had made a promise to his friend.
“Whatever you’re doing commit to it with everything that you’ve got,” Edgin said.
Edgin said he continued to work hard through subsequent jobs he attained. He found when others saw how hard he worked they would refer him to better jobs at better companies.
“Now what’s most important is not who you know, but who knows you,” Edgin said. “People seeking you out is the strongest position you could be in.”
Edgin said he worked for Black and Decker as part of the Hispanic marketing committee where he used his previously learned skills from the Kennedy Center in working with diverse groups of people. He then worked for the Yellow Pages where he used skills to create arguments and negotiate.
His friend who sold satellite dishes with him admired his work ethic and recently referred him to General Electric. Because of those who know him, Edgin will join General Electric’s Experienced Commercial Leadership Program in July.