Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dress To Impress - Lessons learned from Jonathan Kernion

Last week we were honored to be joined by Mr. Jonathan Kernion, President of Cycle Construction for dinner and a wonderful evening of storytelling and inspiration. MSBA student Victoria Capozucca recounts the evening in her blog post Dress To Impress... Yourself. Take it away, Victoria!

Dress To Impress... Yourself.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to have dinner and listen to one of the most inspirational people I have ever met, Mr. Jonathan Kernion, the President of Cycle Construction.  The dinner was filled with questions, laughter, encouraging advice, motivational words and even a few tears from touching stories. This is the first business dinner I have ever attended and I can honestly say it went above and beyond my expectations.  It was nerve-racking knowing I was going to be in the presence of such accomplished people, but their welcoming personalities and intriguing stories helped me become comfortable and made the night flow smoothly.  I knew it was an exceptional night when I realized there was never any complete silence in the conversation.
One particular story that stood out to me was when Mr. Kernion spoke about the importance of looking good for yourself.  This story took place during a time in his life when was doing construction at Tulane University in New Orleans.  Curious of the financial side of the construction business, Mr. Kernion, dressed in a suit and tie, strolled into the Business School to ask about enrolling in some business courses.  The man asked if Mr. Kernioin would be interested in pursuing his MBA. With a smile, Mr. Kernion replied that he did not have a college degree.  Surprised by his answer, the man responded,Well you look pretty smart.

Mr. Kernion still had a smile on his face as he proceeded to explain the meaning of the story.  He put his suit on that morning because he wanted to.  Mr. Kernion had previously struggled with his self-identification and had encountered difficult situations throughout his life.  He decided that the only way to persevere through the hard times was to work on his self-esteem.  One step he integrated into his life was wearing a suit, so when he looked in the mirror he saw a confident man that deserved success. Simply speaking, Mr. Kernion felt good because he physically looked good.
A few years prior to this "dress to impress... yourself," mentality, Mr. Kernion felt broken and unsure of his capability of success. This small change has been very beneficial for him.
This story, to me, showed the importance of inner confidence. It doesn't matter what people think of you. What does matter is what you think about yourself. If you do not believe in yourself, how can you expect other people to?
As I continue on my journey in the MSBA program, I realize that I have developed a new found confidence because of my business attire. I am enrolled in this program to grow as a businesswoman, and the change in attire makes me feel like a businesswoman.
I'm so grateful for the chance to hear the fascinating stories Mr. Kernion shared. He has inspired me and has helped me figure out that in order to grow I need to believe in myself because if I believe in myself and I know I can accomplish a goal, I will accomplish it.

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