By: Alexa Fuentes, General Manager at Legends Global Sales & Living Sport Advisory Board Member
Picture it… you are roaming the streets of Rome, Barcelona, or any foreign city. You are seeing everything around you for the first time and experiencing a place where you don’t necessarily know the language, the customs, or have any personal ties to the people around you. This feels mystifying, maybe even a little frightening. You are used to the places you call home and the routines that make your days move along. This sudden change can be overwhelming, but it often leads to the moments that force you to grow.
You feel timid and bashful to order your first meal at an international restaurant- struggling to translate the menu, stumbling through your order as you try nail the pronunciation, and hoping what you ordered is exactly what you are expecting. But then you do it. And that meal comes out exactly as you pictured it. The pasta is better than you can ever have imagined, the tapas bursting with more flavor than you thought possible. These are the moments that reward us with a sense of confidence, pride and more importantly lifelong memories. Have enough of these moments in a given trip and you come home a different person.
This is something I have experienced through my travels and it’s something I can sense in others that have stepped out of their norm. Navigating your way through a new country, city or just to a new part of town can dramatically change your outlook. Growth happens when you let your mind, eyes, and mouth explore.
As a hiring manager, I see a lot of resumes that are carbon copies of the one before it. All too often candidates are afraid to let a little personality shine through. One thing that always stands out to me though, is the choice to attend a college far out of their region or a study abroad program. I’m drawn to ask them about their experiences. Without fail people will immediately open up about the highlights and those are all great, but what I thirst to hear about is everything else. Often, I will ask about a mistake or blunder they experienced while traveling. Through this I can get a sense of their capacity to learn. What did they do next? Did they humbly accept their mistake, or did they lay blame onto that new place for not conforming to theirnorms? For me, the correct attitude to have is the first example, as I look for candidates who are hungry to learn and humble in their failures.
I hired a Living Sport alum because when asked about his experiences in Barcelona, I didn’t even have to probe to get to the heart of his experience. From the start, I was regaled by his story of being out of the country for the first time and how he adapted to make sure he got the very most out of this trip not only as a tourist, but also as an intern. This combined travel and work experience provided him with exposure to what it meant to not only be an adult out on his own, but also a working sports professional. His time with Living Sport led to an incredible amount of personal and professional growth in an undeniably short period of time. Living Sport provided him with a clear advantage amongst his fellow candidates and ultimately aided him in securing the job.