5 Most Valuable Takeaways from the Aspire Academy

With about 500 high school students, the Aspire Academy is one of the leadership academies at the 2017 DECA International Career Development Conference that focuses leadership skills that we can take away and incorporate later on in life.

The academy started with an analogy #GetYourGroceries by speaker AJ Watson. He said sometimes we buy our groceries and walk out of the grocery store, forgetting our groceries in the store. In the same manner, life skills that we learn from the academy are valuable takeaways that we should keep with us throughout our lives, instead of only applying them during the conference.

With that being said, here are 5 of the most valuable lessons I learned from the Aspire Academy:

1. Set Goals

As high school seniors, it is time for us to plan and think about our future career plans. During session, we did an activity where we drew a timeline that reflects some significant events and future plans in our lives. It gave an opportunity to think about our aspirations in life. It is important to be organized with our goals and plans in order to achieve the success that we desire.

 2. Self-evaluation

“Know thyself.” We are all different individuals that have different ambitions. Before reaching out for opportunities and networking with people, it is important to be your actual self and explore who you are as an independent individual. What are your callings? What moral values do you live by? What defines you?

3. Build Genuine Connections.

Networking is a major key to achieve success. Opportunities do not reach out to you if you don’t look and dig for them. Be proactive and put yourself put there by starting conversations and get to know others. During the mentorship session, Nick Empson, the Head of International Training and support at the Little Kickers, told the mentees that he was able to make it to the top of the company because he was putting himself out there for opportunities since he was in high school. Therefore, if you want to own your future, you have to put yourself out there and seek your opportunities.

4. Mentorship

Success cannot be achieved if you are fighting for it along the way all by yourself. After networking with others and finding your companions, it is time to find a mentor to guide you along the way. Having a mentor is important, because they have the experiences to advise the right decisions.

5. Explore Different Things

In this digital era, it takes one second to connect with different parts of the world through the internet and technology. Globalization is the a great way to expand businesses nowadays. With that being said, Empson emphasized that it is important to learn different languages and explore different cultures. Knowing more than one language is an advantage, since business need them to globalize. And not to mention, breaking out of your comfort zone will open up your eyes.

So what are you waiting for? Go and #OwnYourFuture today!

This article was written by An@heimLive Social Media team member Chun So. You can follow Chun on Instagram @samuelsch99.