BY: KARA NORTH
Cedric Bess wears two hats. He brought them – literally two hats – to last week’s PRSSA meeting, one bearing a New York Yankees’ logo and the other Mercedes-Benz. Cedric is both the Supervisor of Guest Relations with the Yankees and a Product Specialist and Supervisor at Mercedes-Benz. Is his words, he justifies balancing both professions because “sports is my habit, so I have to pay for my habit”. Sports, in fact, have always played a large role in Cedric’s life. His very first job was with the Junior Orange Bowl, as PR Director. His background also links him to PRSSA: he served as the National President of the nation-wide organization from 2000-2001. He has since been greatly involved with PRSA and even began his talk with some news and updates from the National Board. He then recalled the many opportunities PRSSA had provided him with as well as one of the main takeaways he learned, which is “be prepared to give back”. Cedric was kind enough to travel from New York City to Newark and meet with our chapter’s members.
Throughout his lengthy career, Cedric has learned a great deal from his college professors, mentors and peers. His goal was to share some of it with our members so that we could start applying it earlier in our careers, as he wished he had done. He compiled his advice into a list of “hashtags to live by”, which include the following:
#ThinkOfAMasterPlan – Start with short-term and long-term goals and compartmentalize them into “bite-sized morsels” to ensure that you can achieve them. Write these goals down because doing so is “speaking them into existence”.
#HitTheBooks – Research the companies you want to work for. If and when you get an interview, tell the company something about themselves. For example, congratulate them on something they were in the news for. People love to talk about themselves.
#SpringCleaning – Clean up your online presence (yes, companies do Google search you) and update your profiles with your most relevant experience.
#SuitAndTie – Dress for the job you want to have, not necessarily the one you have.
#WorkIt – Attend professional networking events. No matter what stage you’re at, employers are looking at you as experts in your field. Sometimes you have to go out and find them in order to share your expertise. Get involved on campus, like writing for the school newspaper in order to showcase your skills.
#GetOutThere – There are hundreds of organizations out there. Explore different areas because it can provide you with another perspective on your own area.
#WaxOnWaxOff – Find your Mr. Miyagi; Find a mentor that can teach you the ways. Keep a core of people that you can lean on and trust. They can talk you through questions you may have later in your career.
#InchDeepMileWide – Be a service to yourself by learning a few things about a ton of topics because you never know what situations you’ll find yourself in later in life. Better yet, find something you know nothing about and learn about. Search daily headline, listen to podcasts…
#Can’tStopWon’tStop – (Yes, this is a P-Diddy reference) You can’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. Life happens, but you’ll have to figure out how to still accomplish things.
Cedric ended his talk with two quotes, the authors of which may come as no surprise:
1. “There may be more people who are talented than you, but there’s no reason someone should work harder than you” – Derek Jeter.
2. “The best, or nothing” – Mercedes Benz.
Thank you so much for coming all the way to UD to share your awesome advice! Keep #Hustlin.