Authenticity has become a buzzword in the business community. Authenticity is the new black.
But I’m discovering that in America, genuine authenticity is hard to find.
Part of my struggle since leaving Africa and returning to America has been discovering my mission here. What is my purpose?
How do I unite the lessons I’ve learned with the passions of my heart while residing in America?
But most of the job opportunities I’ve received over the past several weeks have left me dismayed.
▪ Dismayed because the goals and missions of many companies don’t align with my purpose and passion.
▪ Dismayed because the few companies with which I might align well don’t achieve alignment with their own stated goals and mission.
▪ Dismayed because the companies which tout authenticity don’t actually practice what they preach.
Yet amidst all the rubble, there seems to be a gem.
From the first time Performa Higher Education contacted me and began the recruiting process, they cast their vision…a meaningful mission: helping small, private colleges and universities become healthy.
One way they do this is by ensuring student success. If students thrive, the university thrives. I was introduced to the four stages of student success: attraction, belonging, engagement, community.
In a similar manner to how a college might recruit a new student, Performa began wooing me. Before I knew what was happening, I found myself emerging through those same four stages.
Please consider meeting us to discuss the opportunity at a quaint cafe not far from Milwaukee.
Caffiene and a convo? I can do that.
Over a hot cup of coffee, they inquired about my passions, interests, and goals. They helped me conceptualize how I could utilize those passions with Performa.
I was intrigued. Eager to see how this could be a mutually beneficial relationship. Attracted enough to visit thier Green Bay office the following week.
Come spend a day at our office. Join us for a workshop with innovative consultant and pioneer of residential colleges, Frank Shushok.
During introductions, I was presented as Performa’s new recruit. But rather than a bystander content to watch from the sidelines, I found myself quite vocal in the consulting sessions, brainstorming ways to translate research findings into architectural solutions.
I could see myself fitting in with Performa and providing meaningful contributions to their work.
Travel with us to a job site. Observe what we do. Interact with students. Offer insight and suggest a few practical design solutions.
At a reputable college in Iowa, I was introduced not as a recruit, but as a consultant. Even more, I felt like a team member. Touring the campus and chatting leisurely with students, I listened to their stories that I might speak on their behalf to resolve some of the campus issues. My mind continued to ponder concepts which would promote the goals of this college for several days following my visit.
Fully engaged, I was ready to come on board.
Come and work for us. Use your talents at Performa and help influence the world by impacting higher education.
Before long, I had become a case example of student success.
So in just a few days I’ll be joining Performa Higher Ed as a campus planner and designer working to enhance environments and hopefully, affect lives. Ready, set, go!
Ideally, this opportunity might merge my two worlds (Africa/America).
And I wonder, could we at Performa provide an even greater impact by sharing our knowledge and success with higher ed institutions in the developing world?
Maybe someday we’ll help institutions in Africa. Institutions with an incredible potential to produce students who desire to be transformed and in turn, will transform the world around them. Institutions like Congo Initiative’s UCBC. Maybe someday…