MLK Scholar: The Network Within

MLK Scholar: The Network Within

“Don’t think about what you want to be, think about what you want to do.”

– Barak Obama


MLK Scholars has been established for 150 years, offering internships in around 58 foundations and providing students with opportunities to network.

This past Friday (July 19th, 2019) I sat down in front of a stage of 4 panelists – Jaquell Sneed, Rep. Andy Vargas, Natasha Barrientos and Katherine McLansen – alongside about 600 students.

This forum was about the importance of networking, and how much it helps when it comes to obtaining a career you want to pursue.

The panelists each took turns sharing their stories with networking, but the story that I really took away from that morning was that of Natasha Barrientos: She called her story the ‘Bike Story’.

She had gotten this opportunity to work, but it was so far away from where she lived. She could not even Uber there because this was before Uber’s time. So, she was given a bike and a helmet by someone who pushed her to be great, and everyday she biked 3 miles- sometimes through the rain.

It stuck with me because some opportunities are just worth taking. You never know when you will come across another one. So, you will have to work hard and put your best foot forward if you want more opportunities to pop up in your future.

After the panelists spoke we had a chance to hear from the Mayor of the city of Boston, Marty Walsh, before we were sent off to do a networking activity that required the students to speak to each other.

It was a nerve-wracking experience because the students in the room were all strangers to me, but it gave me a feel of what networking is like. I am not always going to know the people with access to career opportunities that I want, but I have to be willing to put myself out there.