What did you gain in TSA?
From the first day I stepped foot on Virginia Tech's campus, I was a step ahead of other students because through TSA, I had gained knowledge of careers, interview practices, and specific skills—and the confidence to take risks. I am always interviewing for internships and roles here at school and this is extremely easy for me because I spent seven years of my life in TSA competition interviews. Additionally, many of my peers have a fear of public speaking but I have never had to worry about that, because I have spoken in front of 8,000 people at large-scale conferences. TSA also gave me a way to test my passions and explore different career options, which has led me to find my passion for marketing and entrepreneurship.
What advice do you have for current TSA student members?
Reach out to TSA alumni and your student leaders to learn everything you can from them. Having a mentor is so important to your growth and will open the doors for many opportunities down the road. Do not let the mistakes you make now—such as forgetting something for your competition or missing a beat during a speech—define who you are or bring you down. This is the time in your life during which you are most expected to miss a step.
I was 16-years-old when I was elected as national TSA president, and thought I was mature because my other friends were not leading 250,000 people. But I was still maturing so much. While there are so many successes I can remember from TSA, I consider the failures I had to be more important—because that is how I grew and kept developing into my best self. In TSA, you are safe to test limits and prepare for the real world—more than you will ever imagine.