You’re sitting in the hair salon, half straightened and half coily hair resembling a lion’s mane with the blow dryer amplifying the acoustics in a room of five people. There discussions around pop culture and city-wide events, but the conversation switches. You begin engaging in a conversation surrounding the nuances of higher education. More specifically, the educational trajectory of your child. You’re making conversation in the room with other parents. Yet, you hear this other voice, telling you exactly what you should do. No speculation. They give you Plan A, B and C, while pointing out other resources that could possibly be available. You realize that voice is of an individual who is not even 18 years old.
That voice was me.
I often think about that moment. It was a moment that I nor my hairstylist forget. See at that point in my life, I wanted to be an Athletic Trainer. I was looking at the University of Miami and Elon University, while finishing up my last round of ACT and SAT test taking. I was junior in high school. In that moment, I thought I was just being helping and part of me was like “this is easy”. Everything I was telling that mom was information I had casually read, but became genuinely interested in. While I know college or high school admissions is never a straight path, I found some type of calm and understanding in the processes that I honestly did not tap into until I was in my own undergraduate career.
As an undergraduate student at the University of Georgia (UGA), I found ALOT of resources that were to my disposal: The Career Center, Office of Institutional Diversity, Division of Academic Enhancement and so many other things. The resources were good, heck, my tuition and fees PAID for these resources. However, sometimes, I was missing that personal experience because of other things I had to do. At one point, I was experiencing so much excitement and opportunities because of the thrill and challenges in undergrad, that I realized that I needed someone to stop me. I did have that person: Ms. V.
Honestly, Ms. V changed so many students lives at UGA, especially mine. I came into UGA with my head in the clouds, but my feet on go. Yet, my heart was never were I said I had dreams of. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but best believe that Ms. V sat me down and made me think about it (she did feed me, so no child went hungry). That conversation was another pivot in my journey that changed my trajectory in ways I could have never imagined.
The summer before my junior year is really what made me realize the things that came naturally and the things I had to work a tad bit harder at. As a campus leader, I have done my fair share of interviews whether I was searching for talent or applying and I had discovered the necessity of LinkedIn, but also the need for personality in resumes, cover letters, etc. I sat in my own campus dorm and was editing people resumes, just because. Weird, I guess. But in all actuality, it was allowed me to explore ways that made me stand out just a little bit on paper while testing out to see how people felt about certain choices. I kept a copy of the UGA Career Guide because it was EXTREMELY valuable; however, I knew that at Career Fairs and Conferences, seeing the same resume template over and over can cause a small sense of burnout in an interviewing process. (To here about my experience at a college fair, click here)
Again, I still was not FULLY tapped into what I knew. I took a class, HDFS 5910, that was my professional development and internship course for my undergraduate degree and once again, I found a love for helping people in the college admissions and transition process. I had been in executive board positions for three years already, and. my summer internship solidified (somewhat) what I wanted to do.
After graduation, I took a role as Teach for America Corps Member in the Greater Tulsa Region. Was I excited to be going to Oklahoma: not at all. I was excited to have post grad plans: most definitely. My time in the classroom has done two things for me. The first is that I realize I belong in the higher education setting, not because things were easy, but because I had a passion for it. I was willing (and still am willing) to suffer through its nuances and systems in order to create effective and meaningful change for ALL students. The second is that I found more ways to understand how important it is to have people who look like and understand you in every stage of an educational journey.
Every experience and opportunity I have had with a student in the K-12 or collegiate setting is the culmination and continuous progression of Durr Consulting, LLC. While academia and professional development is a focus, personal development is as well. Why? Because the world is looking for more personable people. People want to incorporate new experiences, backgrounds and perspectives into every facet of life. While there is deep work to be done on every level, I want to help people reach every opportunity that is meant for them. In today’s world, you are your brand. So whether you’re trying to get your child into a new school or need help with a personal or professional website, I’m your girl. I promise, if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find a way. This is my contribution to pushing people forward. No one should have to sacrifice who they are for job.
Welcome to Durr Consulting, LLC, where we are making the professional personable.
I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man! Let me handle my business.“Diamonds from Sierra Leone” (Remix), Kanye West ft. Jay-Z