Businessman tells students to exploit marketable skills, learn to work with bad bosses

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The coordinator of SACMEN said it is important to change stereotypical views about men of color.

By Sergio Medina

Students should pursue a career in something they are good at even if they are not passionate about the subject, a businessman told an audience of 21 on Feb. 28 at a success workshop hosted by the Men Empowerment Network in the nursing complex.

Charlie Boyd Jr. said there is a difference between following a passion and doing what one is good at.

He said exploiting the latter can be more marketable.

“You may have skills that you don’t want to do, but that you’re good at,” he said.

In the workplace, Boyd said dealing with “bad bosses” is more beneficial than working for good bosses because they present challenges that need problem-solving and independent critical thinking.

“You can’t learn that much from good bosses,” he said. “It’s nice to have them, but they take care of everything.”

He said valuable work makes valuable workers.

“Let your work do the talking for you,” Boyd said.

Boyd also said prioritizing responsibilities is essential.

“Act because you should not because you can,” he said. “If there’s not a reason to do something, why are you doing it? If it’s not in your priorities, you need to make changes.”

He also gave advice about financial management.

“The time when you need to know the most about money is when you don’t have any,” he said. “You need to have a budget now.”

Boyd said the most valuable resource one has is time.

“I can get more money, I can get more material, I cannot get more time,” he said. “You need to look at your life and see how you are spending the majority of your time.”

The free event was called a “platica,” Spanish for conversation.

SACMEN is a program at this college with the goal to “engage male students of color by providing support services and resources to succeed in college,” according to the program’s description on this college’s website.

Boyd’s presentation helped promote that vision by advising his audience about successful career management.

Boyd, who retired from the U.S. Air Force after 26 years, has been a mentor for more than 30 years. He served on the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, a nonprofit mentoring organization, and has mentored students at Davis Middle School for seven years.

He is on the board of directors of the Psi Alpha Scholarship Foundation.

During the presentation, Boyd said that a bad upbringing is irrelevant in the face of success.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from, you can be anything you want,” he said.

Although the presentation focused on advising men of color, Boyd said he does not wish to be exclusive.

“All men need our help,” he said. “I can’t tell a Caucasian man the challenges he went through, but I can help him.”

Mona Aldana-Ramirez, director of student success, said in an interview Feb. 28 that women are not excluded and that they are “more than welcome” to join SACMEN.

Boyd declined to have his employer’s name published.

Ramirez said prior to Boyd’s presentation that it is important for men of color to “learn to change the narrative.”

Ramirez said people of color grow up under stereotypes such as having low incomes, being more prone to incarceration and being at risk.

“All those negative things — being guilty while black or guilty while brown — have generally defined a Latino or black man,” she said. “Part of what we have to do through our programming is having them develop a narrative for themselves, to go from the deficit thinking of what normally our society thinks of African-Americans or Latino men to a more positive narrative of what potential they can grow into.”

Students interested in joining SACMEN can go to Room 124 of Chance Academic Center.

Ramirez said SACMEN is “constantly out recruiting.”

For more information about SACMEN, call 210-486-0166.


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