Seniors Edgar Zetina and Seth Blanton held the first Success Series workshop on Friday, Oct. 23. The series is intended to give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to learn from and network with successful entrepreneurs and notable business and nonprofit leaders in Oklahoma.
The inaugural guest speaker was Bobby Stem, founding partner of Capitol Gains, a full-service government relations firm with more than five decades of experience. Stem shared about his work as a government lobbyist, the importance of building networks, and the differences between corporate and entrepreneurial work. He also discussed the value and professional impact of internships and volunteer work.
Blanton, a military history senior from Midwest City, said the idea for the series came out of his and Zetina’s recent internships through The Washington Center in Washington, D.C. Blanton, who attended several think tanks, said he hopes interacting with local professionals will help students be more prepared to enter the workforce.
“Everyone we want to bring in to speak has lived in Oklahoma, worked in Oklahoma and succeeded in Oklahoma,” Blanton said. “We want to show students that they can succeed in Oklahoma, too.”
Zetina, a business administration senior from Pryor, said the series will feature speakers who work in lobbying, financial planning, web design and more. He wants students to see the full potential in their degrees by hearing from professionals in various fields.
“We hope the talks will bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real-world knowledge,” Zetina said. “We want people to see how others have applied both their academic and real-world knowledge in order to succeed.”
Blanton and Zetina are working with Coordinator of Career Services Calli Knight to make the series available to students, faculty and staff on all three campuses. Knight said the series is a great opportunity for students to start preparing for their next step after attending RSU.
“When Edgar and Seth approached me with this idea, I was ecstatic to help with the planning and execution,” Knight said. “The Success Series not only connects the campus to thriving professionals but also provides an atmosphere that fosters career development – ultimately helping our students become successful themselves.”
The next Success Series will take place on Friday, Nov. 20, at 1:30 p.m., with Wayne McCombs, the executive director of the J. M. Davis Gun Museum.