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More than my degrees

Posted by CM Whitener on May 18, 2016 at 11:50 PM


May is the month of graduations. I've graduated three times that I can remember: High School, College, and Law School. But those were just graduations from "formal education." The truth is, I have graduated many other times in life. 

Over the course of the last six or so years, I have graduated from being a consumer of books written by someone else, to a writer of books. I have grown from perusing articles about prominent figures in pop culture to sitting side by side with them at radio stations or community events.

I graduated from being a reluctant and nervous speaker at my own high school graduation, many moons ago, to becoming a bold public speaker. 

I have graduated from the belief that your degrees actually determine your career. (The next time someone asks what you are going to do with your degree...tell them you are going to put it on the wall and continue to live out your dreams.)

Graduation is nothing more than growth and going to the next level. 

I hold a bachelors degree in Political Science and a professional degree in Law. Those two degrees have a lot to do with my interests and my ability to represent someone in legal cases, or to argue about the political psychology of candidates for particular offices. They do not have a stronghold on my career, however. 

In my career as a speaker, lawyer, writer, I need more than degrees to get me through. I have to employ people skills. I learned how to talk to people while flipping burgers at Hardees as a teen, working in call centers, and just being around folks in hot debates. Call centers probably helped hone my persuasive ability. Knowing how you respond to telemarketers when they call. imagine being that telemarketer with a quota to meet. 

I sharpened my creative flow when I was a little kid growing into adulthood. On many occasions, I would memorize TV shows and/or commercials and then act them out for my uncles, who were amazed at my toddler talent. I eavesdropped on my relatives playing the dozens and cracking jokes, which added to my own ability of being able to navigate different personalities. Having a sense of humor tends to set people at ease and make them want to be around you. 

I developed a competitive drive as I delved into a love for sports and competed in academic competitions. Sports also taught me the essential requirement of teamwork in order to accomplish particular goals. 

Above all of those things, integrity is at the foundation of everything I do because it is a mainstay in any successful venture one might undertake. 


Degrees are merely a portion of your toolkit in developing a productive career. There are many other tools necessary for navigating the world in life and in business, that you pick up in all aspects of your journey towards discovering who you are and what you hope to accomplish. 

Categories: Career, Graduation, Tips

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2 Comments

Reply Don
12:43 PM on May 24, 2016 
Enjoyed the read, agreed wholeheartedly with your sentiments.
Reply CM
9:50 AM on May 25, 2016 
Thanks! I hope to blog here once per week. So please stop back by!
Don says...
Enjoyed the read, agreed wholeheartedly with your sentiments.