The Mindset to Put You on Path to Succeed

For our second FBLA meeting this year, we were grateful to have Mr. Chuck Holm as our speaker. Mr. Holm is a graduate from the Black Hills State University with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. He now works as the CFO of an oil and gas construction company. With his significant experience accumulated through work at such a senior position, he was able to provide us with some information on how to maximize our resources and important social skills to cultivate in order to set the path of a successful career.

He began by conveying the importance of time management. “Treat every day as if it were an 8 hour day job.” With this practice, he explained, there is a minimal chance of procrastination which leads to excess productivity. Not only would this allow for the completion of all professional responsibilities, but also for time for oneself. This extra time that has been created through the elimination of procrastination can be used to partake in additional school activities such as clubs and afterschool programs. He explained that these activities are most likely already included in school tuition, so this would be making the most of all the resources offered.

With the incorporating of new activities, new social connections are made. Mr. Holm highlighted the importance of creating a social network large enough to be depended on. “You never know where your next opportunity will come from…” he explained. With a large selection of people to reach out to, the chance of opportunity is greatly increased. Speaking with people you already know about their career and interests is a great way to create personal connections as well.

Once expanding on these opportunities by going to interviews, he offered a great deal of advice. First and foremost, presenting a genuine interest in the company should be at the top of everyone’s priority list. This caters to the nature of the first impression which sets the tone for the remainder of interactions. Along with this, preparation for an interview is key. It indicates to the interviewer you do, in fact, have genuine interest and are a proactive prospective employee. It is important to remember that not only is the interview testing to see if the interviewee is good for the company but also if the company is a fit for the individual. Questions about corporate culture and specific events allow both the individual and the company to see initial compatibility. Last, keeping a conversation going rather than conforming to a question/answer format also enables both parties to see just how well the employment would work out.

Once hired, and working in a fast paced environment maximizing efficiency in every situation is crucial. To cover the basics, Mr. Holm suggests that every person learn how to work excel spreadsheets, specifically managing and extracting data, and how to use powerpoints. This would save time on projects due to already established proficiency. The more steps taken to create a well-ordered environment as an individual, the more efficient the company becomes as a whole. Individual efforts, too, is enough to get recognition.

Finally, Mr. Holm left us with a mindset that would help in any company or environment. “Be kind and follow the golden rule: treat everyone the same no matter where they fall in the network.” Tying back to one of his initial points, because you never know where an opportunity will come from. Working in a position associated with heavy work would create stress, but he advises against letting this stress overcome you. It is important to keep calm, efficient, and have open communication with those working close and those working in other departments.

Thank you Mr. Holm for all your time and advice.