It was a very exciting day for us as we started day one. Today, the theme was “Dare to Dream, sponsored by Arby’s. We started the day off with Program Manager Janae Olinger’s welcome to eMBV and then we had the opportunity to hear from our keynote speaker, John Thomas, former NBA player, and the Vice President of Basketball Development for the Minnesota Lynx and Timberwolves.
John Thomas’ message encouraged campers to see themselves as a “company” and spoke about the importance of who we hang out with and how they can affect our success. As a metaphor, he said if you want to be an eagle, “You can’t always fly with the pigeons.”
He opened up about his experiences of uncertainty, family, and answering the inevitable question of “what’s next?” He let students know that it’s okay that you don’t have it all figured out but don’t stop trying. When a camper asked, “How do you break a bad habit?” Thomas responded with, “Change your actions and behavior, then your expectations will change and you’ll have a better understanding of what’s more important.” He then closed by saying, “You’re more valuable than you think and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
Shortly after John Thomas’ keynote, the campers broke into companies and met their team for the session. Each team has around 15 campers, a CEO (who is an MBV alum), and an RBL (Resident Business Leader). Companies spent this time introducing themselves and familiarizing themselves with their team with the help of ice-breakers. It’s an incredible experience, these individuals come from all over Minnesota and some from across the country.
Once we regrouped, we went into breakout sessions. The sessions included: “Resume Workshop”, “Interviewing Skills”, “Best Practices for Online Meetings”, and “Critical 21st Century Job Skills”. Campers were able to be a part of two of these sessions for about 25 minutes. They learned a lot and were given the opportunity to ask questions and freely converse on these topics. Our amazing presenters were Audra Howard of General Mills, Michael Reeves from Next Steps 2 Success, Katina Lane-Fomby of 3M, and Jose Ruiz-Garcia from Cargill.
After this short break, we were able to hear from the creator of Coconut Whisk, a plant-based and gluten-free baking company, and MBV alumni, Bella Lam. Lam led an important conversation about developing your brand and the difference between a creator and a consumer. She gave many pieces of advice including getting a planner to better manage your time and using the ‘unfollow’ button on social media, especially if it’s something degrading and detrimental to you and/or your mental health.
Before ending our first day, we got a chance to hear from a celebrity guest, David Clark, President and CEO of Cereal Partners Worldwide, General Mills, a joint organization with General Mills and Nestle. He came in to talk with the campers about the word “no” and how to work for a ‘not yet.” He did this by telling a story about his first job, and how his mom told him to go back and check with them because you go after opportunities, they don’t always come after you.
Then to close, Akshay, the student emcee, and Janae talked about camper shoutouts and led a closing activity. And lastly, they informed the campers on a song submission tab for a camp playlist.
What an incredible to close out our first day!