When I was in college at Mississippi State University, I majored in international business. The program was a big part of why I chose Mississippi State, as it gave me the opportunity to graduate with both a business degree (B.B.A. in International Business with a marketing emphasis) and a degree in a foreign language (B.A. in Spanish.) One of the final requirements for the program was to take a special class the semester before my internship. It was focused mostly on how to prepare for an interview, resume writing skills and the art of the thank you letter. It was tremendously helpful in providing guidance on some of those subtle things that can help make you stand out from other applicants – and ultimately get you hired.
What they didn’t teach me though was something I learned on my own almost immediately – the value of being assertive. Over the years and in many various ways I’ve seen it prove to be crucial in making your way through the door of a new employer, to land a promotion or in a number of other ways. In this recent interview I did with Carrie Kerpen for Forbes, I share a couple of stories highlighting moments where being assertive helped to change the direction of my career.