This evening I had the opportunity to be a guest speaker at Winona State University to help students learn the art of interviewing. About a month ago I presented at Winona State to a group of Human Resources managers on how to start a career in HR. In both cases I had fun and hope I was able to be a positive influence for the students. I have two hopes from doing this. One, that I help at least one student walk away with one idea that will help them find their future career. The other hope is that I help light a spark in them to help others in the same way Tony Worley did for me.
As my college career was wrapping up back in 1999 and I was looking at career opportunities my dad hooked me up with a Sales Rep that he knew from the Twin Cities. Tony was a pretty good guy and had offered to meet up with me and spend some time helping me learn how to write a resume and interview. I’m sure part of his willingness to help was to help seal a sales deal with my dad, but based on his passion and enthusiasm I’m positive that there was more to it.
When Tony met with me he brought piles of old resumes, old interview notes, a book on interviewing, and tons of potential interview questions. We spent the better part of a day discussing what worked and what didn’t in resume writing. His thoughts were backed up with his experiences, of which he shared both positive and negative. He was incredibly humble and candid while being very upbeat and optimistic. There was no question that he was passionate about helping me be successful. On the short term his help was a success, every interview I had (every single one) led to a job offer.
After we wrapped up we didn’t really speak afterwards. It was before the days of email and LinkedIn and I was a foolish early twenties guy who didn’t realize the importance of maintaining relationships. It is sad to admit, but I’m not even sure if I spelled his name correctly. I’ve spent time looking him up online but to no avail. Who knows, maybe someone who reads this blog will know someone who knows him and get it in front of him.
As I look back on where I am with my career and the successes I’ve had, I know they wouldn’t be quite the same without Tony’s help. How crazy is it that one day with one person who I haven’t spoken with since helped to spark my passion for helping others with interviewing? At the end of our time together I promised him that I would be sure to go out of my way to help someone else the way he helped me. Little did either of us know that I would make a career out of it and work to inspire as many people as others to do the same.
Tony, wherever you are, thank you for the help and the advice. Your time spent with me has started a ripple effect that I will continue to try to perpetuate.