Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Spotting and Seizing Opportunities

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Spotting and Seizing Opportunities

Article excerpt

A men musi make his opportunity, as oft as find it. - Francis Bacon

Spotting and seizing opportunities is a skill of those brave enough to take them. Teaching Latino students how to spot or make their own 'opportunities provides them an advantage, especially when times are bleak or situations are challenging.

Opportunities are most easily recognized when there is something you really want to do. Helping a Latino student identify his passion is the first step in teaching where to find opportunities. If a student wants to be a business owner, connect him with a local entrepreneur, Is photography the student's burning desire? Give a special assignment that requires photography (and supply the camera, if needed). Teach the Latina to look where tilings of interest are happening, dien help her make her way in to explore the possibilities of tilings she might want to explore.

Pursuit of a passion is often rewarded by money - and satisfaction - which follow. If the pursuit is just for money, however, satisfaction is usually fleeting, That may not seem like a big tradeoff when mone)' is a novelty, but in the long run, the pursuit may seem hollow. Advise Latino students that not all opportunities are about money but instead are chances to find more ways to live a life that matters, if students can learn that opportunities sometimes present themselves in unexpected ways, they will be more apt to spot diem when they appear. And if they follow their heart's desire, the money typically follows, sooner or later.

Latino students can also learn to seize oppoitunities when something needs to be done. Do they know an elderly adult who needs to learn how to use a computer? Does a newly arrived family down the street want to get its children involved in team sports? While an opportunity might not evolve from a lifelong passion, providing a needed service is an example of creating an opportunity that might meet several needs. Widi a tight employment market, creating your own way to serve (and get paid) is invaluable.

After Latino students have determined their passions and interests, encourage them to inventory their social and academic connections to find opportunities. Hearing about new ventures, help wanted, novel ideas or skills and abilities that others possess might lead to unexpected opportunities, Parents often have coworkers with connections who can help. …

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