- Pine-Richland High School
- Speaker Series
How to Determine and Handle Change in a Professional Career
Career Paths and How to Determine and Handle Change when Needed
Our speaker, Mr. Paul Gelly, began the meeting by discussing colleges and career paths. He posed the question to the room, “Does anyone know what they want to major in?” Mr. Gelly noted that it is okay if you do not know what you want to major in now, but for those who do know, that is good because it shows that you have a plan in mind.
As he progressed in his discussion of colleges and career paths, he used himself as an example to show that change can occur. For instance, he mentioned how he originally started out as an engineering major. However, he realized it was not for him, so he decided to make a change and enter business instead. He continued on with his journey in college, mentioning how during his time at college he worked in the dish area at the school’s dining hall. During his senior year of school, he became a supervisor in the dining hall, which he said was a great leadership experience for himself. Another part he touched on was how he got his MBA while working for ocean spray, and the key takeaway from this was the fact that he was not afraid to make a change in college and he still was able to make it work out.
Mr. Gelly then focused on the question of how to handle change and determine when change is needed. As he did previously, he turned to his own experience as a professional to show examples of times in his career he chose to make changes. An example he gave was how he started off with supply chain and then, after about 10 years in his career, he chose to make a shift into marketing. He noted that throughout his career he had changed his mind multiple times, and his point was to show that needing change is not a negative.
In summary, Mr. Gelly concluded with some of his most helpful tips that he looked for in candidates while interviewing them. First, he stressed the importance of having a good work ethic, and how interviewers will be looking to determine how strong your work ethic is. He talked about how another aspect he looked at was whether the person had ever done study abroad and to see what they gained from that experience. Mr. Gelly talked about leadership, but more importantly, he discussed whether you come off as a leader to others. The final tip he mentioned was having good grades, because having good grades shows determination and work ethic. However, it does not end all be all if they are not as good as one may like. In addition to talking about helpful tips, he touched on social media and the digital footprint. He made it clear that companies look at people's social media and it is important to keep them clean and appropriate.
Thank you on behalf of PR-FBLA for your time and all of your detailed insights, Mr. Gelly
-Sami Saah, Reporter