The communication department welcomed alumni Kris Inman, training and education manager for Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications, and Jason Stouder, vice president of Progressive Bike Ramps, to campus today during the annual, week-long COM Week.
Inman: ‘Go for what you want to do’
Inman took the podium first to talk about his decision to go back to college for a master’s degree at 42, a move that propelled his career forward at Springfield-Greene County 911 and encouraged him to become an MSU per-course instructor.
“When I started graduate school, I was terrified,” he said. “But everything changed for me in the most dramatic way.”
He said he felt “total inclusion” from faculty and students and he’s been promoted twice since earning the degree. He said he hopes to pursue his passion for teaching, as well.
The lesson he left the audience of more than 60 students, faculty and staff, was to tackle fears and live without regret: “Take the class you’re afraid of.
“Go for what you want to do. Jump in!”
Stouder: ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight’
Stouder’s journey to his undergraduate degree involved a lot of hard work — he had two jobs as a student — but that helped him prepare for his career, he said: “If you’re passionate, you can make it happen.”
He encouraged students not to settle into a career or path that doesn’t move them, instead reach for challenging and interesting opportunities.
“Don’t be afraid to fail,” he said. “If you fall down seven times, stand up eight.”
His parting advice came after a student asked what she could do to find her passion and narrow down her varied interests.
“Don’t just limit yourself to campus. If you’re interested in music, find a music producer in Springfield to work with. Springfield is a huge place and you can find a lot of people willing to help you.”
COM Week continues tomorrow with alumnae speakers Lisa Cox, public affairs officer for Springfield Police Department, and Meaghan Younker, talent acquisition for Leggett & Platt. All COM Week presentations this week come with a free lunch.
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (presentation begins at noon)
Location: Plaster Student Union, Robert W. Ballroom East
Admission: Free and open to the public