NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Imagine receiving a letter explaining you've just inherited $5 million from a mystery donor. The inheritance comes with one stipulation: You must travel to Paris, France, and share the money with a person you don't know but who has been preselected. Where would be the perfect place to introduce yourself?
Jason Wright, a Stephen F. Austin State University alumnus, entrepreneur, small business owner and East Texas regional director for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, recently visited the university's campus and detailed the above scenario. He then asked students in the Rusche College of Business which location in Paris they would choose to meet.
Several students had an instant answer, "The Eiffel Tower." Wright said the students' immediate response is exactly how they should want potential employers to react to them. "You want to be the first person who comes to their mind when they have a job to fill," Wright said. "You want to stand out."
Wright, who purchased his first real estate company at age 28, has spent more than a decade owning and operating multiple businesses, including restaurants and construction companies. A confident speaker and published author, Wright is a first-generation college student who graduated from SFA with his bachelor's degree in 1997.
Wright recently returned to SFA to discuss career success with students participating in the Rusche College of Business' Career Success Passport, a program that helps them build their skills while competing for scholarships.
"You have to become the linchpin, the critical or vital piece, of an organization," Wright said.
During his presentation, Wright advised students on how to prepare themselves for career success. He recommended working harder than anyone around them, asking more questions, knowing the job expectations and becoming an expert in a specific area. He also stressed the importance of interpersonal communication and encouraged students to practice interviewing for a job as often as possible.
Throughout the semester, the Career Success Passport program hosts several events for business students to learn new skills and network with professionals in various fields. Gina Small, career success specialist, helped organize Wright's presentation and works closely with students in the passport program.
"Our Career Success Passport program provides a platform for experts, like Jason, to come share their experiences with our students," Small said. "Jason is not only a very successful entrepreneur and businessman, he also is relatable to students. His real-world suggestions and strategies will help our students navigate the transition from college to the professional world with confidence."
For more information on SFA's Rusche College of Business, visit sfasu.edu/cob.