By: Irina Barneda/Contributing Writer
Business leaders, public servants and the former president of our University are all gathering together for one purpose this week: to talk about how to thrive in the 305.
Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society will be hosting its first ever “Thriving in the 305” annual leadership dinner on Saturday, March 9. The free dinner will be held at the Modesto Maidique Campus in the GC Ballrooms from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Former University President Modesto A. Maidique will be the dinner’s keynote speaker.
The focus of the event is to let students know what it’s like in the workforce after graduation, and to hear success stories from others in the community, according to Omicron Delta Kappa Vice President of Public Relations Alecia Rodriguez.
There will be a series of panelists including professors and alumni who will explain how they came to succeed in South Florida.
“We wanted to have the first major event of 2019 to be something students could look forward to when it comes to understanding life after graduation,” said Rodriguez.
The event is free for all University students and the community. Students can RSVP through Eventbrite, Panther Connect, or any ODK social media site including Instagram.
“We have a maximum capacity of 300 people,” said Rodriguez to Student Media. “Modesto A. Maidique actually retweeted us the other day, so spots are going to fill quickly.”
Rodriguez said she believes students will be attracted to the event because of the chance to meet the namesake of the University’s main campus.
In addition to the keynote speaker, there will also be five panelists including the co-founder of Salty Donut, the representative for National Omicron Delta Kappa, and the Public Affairs Manager for the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department.
The five panelists were personally chosen and contacted by the ODK executive board.
Rodriguez said that three of the panelists are FIU alumni, and the others have contributed to the university through donations and/or workshops.
“I knew the Public Affairs Manager for Miami-Dade Corrections, Juan Diasgranados on a personal level,” said Rodriguez. “I reached out to him through email and he agreed to come speak.”
Diasgranados told Student Media that he’s looking forward to telling students about Miami’s broad horizons.
“I want students to know that there are endless possibilities in Miami. Miami is a young city, great for government, hospitality, politics, environmental studies, and so much more… there are countless different avenues,” said Diasgranados. “If you can thrive here you can thrive anywhere.”
Diasgranados said to Student Media that one of the main focuses of his speech will be law enforcement.
“One thing I want people to know is that we are not just guards, but in fact officers and first respondents,” he said.
One of Diasgranados’ primary concerns is the public’s perception of law enforcement. He wants the University community to see that law enforcement officers are not “bad people” by putting on activities with law enforcement and speaking at events like this one.
The leadership dinner will projected live on Twitter and Instagram, and students can send in questions via their phones that will be answered by the panel onstage.
“It will be very interactive, and a complete full dinner,” said Rodriguez. “We hope the information will inspire kids to pursue their goals.”
Rodriguez said she hopes the event will help students understand the value of maintaining a rapport and keeping connections that may deem useful in the future.
“Two of the best things about Omicron Delta Kappa are its access to networking, and member discounts at hotels and stores such as Office Depot,” said Rodriguez. “You get instant access to people with a variety of different career backgrounds and is a great job bank/database.”
Featured image courtesy of Omicron Delta Kappa.