This past Monday, November 11th, the freshmen class of the Leadership Development Honors Program had the opportunity to partake in a meeting with Kathy Rennie. Kathy has held many positions throughout her career and is currently an Associate Professor at New Jersey City University. She spoke to the freshmen leaders about her own personal encounters with strategic communication, branding, and the importance of a challenge. The meeting with Kathy left the freshmen class feeling more inspired about their work ethic and setting new goals for themselves in the coming year.
One takeaway from this meeting for the class was how important it is to always think strategically about what is being communicated—through personal branding and branding for a company. When speaking about this topic Kathy stated, “Invest in the you that you want to be—because your brand follows you everywhere.” This statement resonated throughout the room, as it was obvious that many of the students sat back and considered the brand they had made for themselves thus far in the program.
To motivate the freshmen, Kathy transitioned into speaking about her own story. She related her life to constantly climbing a tree to reach an apple, which is still out of reach for her today. Kathy spoke about how she constantly challenged herself throughout life, whether it was taking on the challenge of pursuing her MBA shortly after receiving a promotion or studying for her PhD along with being a professor at Seton Hall University. She told the class, “If you ever begin to feel comfortable in your position, find a way to make yourself uncomfortable.” One student, Anthony Pizzonia, posed the question, “Would you have done anything differently while climbing your tree?” Kathy was quick to answer that she had no regrets about her journey thus far in her career—again proving her persistent nature and further inspiring the class to be the best that they can be.