What a way to end a phenomenal speaker series for the spring 2016 semester of STOMPP! Mr. Kuran Williams did an amazing job expressing his life and career journey to the students of STOMPP. Born and raised in Philadelphia, and a graduate of the prestigious Morehouse University, Mr. Williams displayed hard work and dedication in every aspect of his life. With no previous background in the technology industry, Mr. Williams expressed how he knew he needed a change, not only in his income, but personal and professional development as well. Along with obtaining a “hand full” of Master degrees, Mr. Williams joined the Graduate Academy at SAP, in order to pursue a new career path. Since completing the Graduate Academy, Mr. Williams has held a number of roles at SAP, including services, NA HR Win Room, and the Manager of Operational Success.
What stood out to me the most during Mr. Williams’ presentation was how he emphasized the most important lessons he learned through his journey. The following list helped me to decipher his lessons into my own professional and personal perspectives.
#1: Always add value: Everything your name is attached to should hold value, especially in the workplace. You should be doing more than just contributing at the minimum level, there should be a need for your skills, something that cannot be easily replaced.
#2: Know the chain of command: In life everything is done in an order. It is important to know, who is in charge and what they have to offer for you. In order to be successful, you have to understand that at some point in your life, you will be required to answer to someone over you.
#3: Understand who’s WHO: This plays a big part of, “knowing the chain of command,” and grasping the concept of who is who in life is the key to success. As the saying goes, “it’s not always what you know, but who you know.”
#4: Identify gaps, problems, challenges, and provide solutions: When problems occur it is imperative in your path to success that you find a solution, instead of dwelling on the negatives and giving up, you should be working to reach an outcome. Trust the process, in order to see progress.
#5: Capitalize upon your strengths and outsource your weakness: If you know you are strong in a specific area, never stop perfecting your craft. Just because you are good, does not mean you have no more room for growth. Expound on your strengths. In your area of weakness, find strength. There is always help available to you at any level, take the necessary steps to make your weakness, a thing you are not afraid of. Weakness is a mindset and practice is the path to perfection.
#6 Have a mentor: In everything you do, there should be someone that can be “accountable” for you. A trusted mentor is the key to a successful well-rounded person. No one person can do everything on their own, and there should be a sense of partnership in a mentor relationship. In any area where you might be lacking in your life, your mentor should be strong in.
#7 Networking: Working hand in hand with who you know. Networking is the key to success, especially in the business world. Whenever granted the opportunity to network and build relationships with individuals, it is essential that you brand yourself well. You never know who you are talking to, what they have to offer you or what you have to offer them.
- Autumn Mack, Delaware State University, STOMPP Social Media Coordinator (Member)