Sweet Serendipity: Mastering a Second Career

If a fortune-teller looked into a crystal ball ten years ago and told me the trajectory of my career would drastically change from television news to organizational development…I’d sternly tell her that either her vision was extremely unclear, her crystal ball was powered with dust, or her head was just plain cloudy.  I would then firmly assure the fortune teller she had the wrong professional.  It couldn’t be me…a talented Howard University School of Communications graduate with zesty personality, flashy smile, and trademark birthmark near the left eye.

I would have never believed it.  But, after all these years I’ve transitioned into a second career.  A career that I absolutely love.  I refer to the transition as “sweet serendipity” for never in a million years had I imagined becoming an organizational development practitioner.   The professional metamorphosis began several years ago.   I was in the process of applying to graduate school programs in the Washington metro region.   Having worked in news, I was interested in augmenting my skill set in Communications.  I selected Trinity Washington University as the higher learning institution where I’d pursue a Master of Arts in Communications.  It was a small college with a reputation for excellence.  Added to that…my mother earned her undergraduate degree at Trinity Washington University so I was very familiar with structure, values, and traditions.

Shortly after being accepted into the program, I met with my advisor to register for courses.  In a strange twist of fate, he wasn’t able to register me for any of the courses I wanted.   Every Communications course we considered was either full or not being taught for fall 2007 semester.  So the advisor turns to me and nonchalantly says “well why don’t we register you for two mandatory business courses.   I was disappointed, but tried not to show it.  It must have been poor acting on my part, because my advisor then says “the worst thing that could happen is that you would switch to a concentration in business.”  He laughed.   And I failed to find humor in the joke.  After all, I was a news journalist who conducted interviews, loved the art of storytelling, packaging stories, sifting for special series, delivering reports on air and anchoring the news.

So my name was added to the roster for Group Dynamics and Teambuilding for the first course.  The second course was dubbed Leadership and Management Theory.  I walked into the both classrooms not knowing what to expect.  The concepts and theories in the syllabi seemed foreign…yet the content was exactly what I needed.  By the end of the semester, I’d transformed into a savvy business minded individual.   I loved every aspect of being able to diagnose situations in the workplace. Can I tell you something else?  The next semester, the Communications courses were wide open.   I was then reluctant to immerse myself in the concentration.  I found myself more allured to business courses.  I had to beg my advisor to take just one more business course.  I slowly became less interested in my core curriculum.  And more enthralled to business practices like emotional intelligence.  Finally, I switched concentrations to organizational development part of the Master of Science in Administration program.   It was one of the best professional decisions I made in my life.

Like a mechanic…I love sharpening my organizational development tool kit.  A lifelong learner, I continue to attend professional development conferences and seminars to stay abreast of research, technology and trends in the industry.  I’m committed to transforming organizations, and positively impact people.  As well, I love partnering with like-minded practitioners who are equally committed as I to create sustainable change.  There are days when I marvel over how drastically my life has changed.  And I forever thank the professors in the School of Professional Studies at Trinity Washington University for playing an integral role in my transformation.

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Categories: Graduate & Professional Programs

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