Working the Ouachita network, it’s a real need. But it’s overwhelming and daunting and provides the potential for lots of awkward moments. You know, the ones like you have with crazy Uncle Ted across the Thanksgiving table, where you have enough in common to strike up a conversation (thank you liberal arts education!) but not enough to have many over assumptions playing out with every word you state.
The Ouachita network, or Circle as we like to call it, is vast. Our people are everywhere, and if we love to do anything, we love to cheer on the Tigers, especially the Tigers4Life. Its important to us to see each other succeed because we share those successes. But sometimes it’s intimidating to know where to even begin.
Let me share a few thoughts and seven tips for breaking into the Ouachita network:
The Ouachita Circle is large. It’s worldwide, and it doesn’t matter where you are, Ouachita people are there. Just ask my husband; we went for lunch this past weekend at a state park in our area. While we were eating, a couple that I had met through a previous church walked in. They were at Ouachita three decades before I was, but you would never know because the bond was strong.
Ouachita alumni want to see other alumni succeed. We want to sing your praises, fan your flame and push you to do greater and grander things. But what you learned and what I learned at Ouachita is, “people matter.” That’s the real success to any kind of networking. Make real, lasting relationships with people, especially Ouachita people. And your web will always be woven with deep roots in whatever field you pursue.
By Keisha Pittman McKinney, a 2004 graduate of Ouachita with a degree in speech communication and sociology. After almost 10 years in admissions and development at Ouachita, Keisha moved to Northwest Arkansas as the executive director of American Cancer Society Relay for Life of North Arkansas. Following that, she served as the director of digital media at Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas. Keisha and her husband Chris (’04) live in De Queen with their 1-year-old son and boxer. Keisha currently serves as the Sevier Co Economic Development Tourism Committee chairwoman and is a freelance writer and social media consultant through McKinney Media Solutions. In 2018, she launched Arkansas Influencers, an influencer marketing talent agency and online community.
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