Roland Martin Speaks at Chicago Black MBA Association Conference

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The National Black MBA Association, Chicago Chapter held their Business Leader Institute Aug. 1 with the theme, “Understanding Your Worth, Delivering Your Value.”

Award-winning journalist Roland Martin was the keynote speaker during the luncheon. Martin discussed the impact inclusive diversity has in the business arena. Angela Foster-Woods, the Chicago Chapter president, said there were about 150 people registered for the conference. The event lead up to the 36th Annual National Conference and Exposition, which will be in Atlanta, Ga. Sept. 16-20.
“The worth part [of the theme] talks about you as an individual, where you’re looking at it from an entrepreneurial perspective or corporate perspective,” Foster-Woods said. “This actionable thinking about what you bring to the table, day-in and day-out, whether it’s with your family or it’s as an employee or to your customer, will lead to your next level of success.”

The organization wanted participants to leave understanding the importance of looking past their present situation. It’s crucial that each individual fully understand his or her worth and look at how the present opportunity will affect their future.

“You’ve spent so much time accumulating skills, talents, creativity, but how do you take that and place, not necessarily just the dollar value, but a worth on it,” Foster-Woods rhetorically asked.

“Whether it’s something that’s going to help the community, whether it’s something that’s going to build up your family, whether it’s something that’s going to empower your employees, access it, put a certain value on it and continue to deliver,” Foster-Woods said.

Panelist Dwain Celistan, from DHR International, a global executive search firm, spoke to attendees about the job interview process.

“We talked about suggestions around how to think about your career and more importantly, how to navigate the entire process from being selected for the interview to what do I say in the interview and what is the context of the culture of the company,” Celistan said.

One important piece of advice he shared was that prospective job candidates should really think about how they can be what the company wants, without forgetting what they want in the process.

“It’s important that they are self aware about what it is they are trying to accomplish in their career,” he said. “I typically look at it three to five years out so that they can then say how is this opportunity going to get me where I’m trying to go.”

*Over the past 40 years, the NBMBAA® has grown from a two-day conference at the University of Chicago to one of the country’s largest professional, minority organizations with 9,000+ members, 46 professional chapters, 28 collegiate chapters, 25 Leaders of Tomorrow® (LOT®) programs, and more than 450 corporate partners.

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