Mayor teaches students a lesson

Students in Florida A&M University’s School of Business and Industry welcomed a surprise on Wednesday when Mayor John Marks III was the guest speaker in a business law class.

Lydia Mckinley-Floyd, dean of SBI, said this guest appearance by the mayor was a planned part of a lecture series designed by the SBI faculty to expose students to the corporate environment and give them a head start in getting ready for the real world.

Marks, a graduate of Florida State University with degrees in law and business, took a more hands on approach giving the students a blue print for a successful career.

The mayor’s formula for success consisted of six components: Preparation, personality, people, value, values and vision.

Although this message was for students with aspirations in business and law, many of the students that attended said it was full of useful to all students whatever their area of study.

“You must prepare yourself for success by becoming a net benefit for society,” Marks said.

He said students should strive to be a positive influence and contributor within their community.

Marks said the main key to preparation is education and experience.

“If you prepare yourself, fortune will follow but you must first be prepared for it,” Marks said. “Preparation starts within the family bringing truth to the African proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child.'”

Marks encouraged students to gain experience by “getting involved with something.”

“Even if it is just volunteer work, involvement means experience “nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely,” Marks said.

The personality aspect of success comes from strong self-esteem. It is the Mayor’s belief that to be successful you must believe in your ability to do what ever it is you strive for.

“The people you surround yourself with play a vital role in your success,” Marks said. “It is imperative that you surround yourself with successful people…[and] keeping in the company of people that are brighter and smarter than you [to] enhance your opportunity for success.”

A value component consist of making yourself unique and your field specialized. Your value should separate you from the pack. The next component of the success blueprint is values. In order to be successful, everything you do must be legal, ethical and moral. “Those who break the rules might benefit in the short term, but sooner or later it will catch-up with you,” Marks said.

The mayor finalized his lecture with a formula for his vision and discussed how important it is to “see yourself successful at what ever you have passion for.”

During the mayor’s 85-minute lecture, students seemed very attentive and the lecture was received well by the students in class.

“I really took a lot from this,” said Jennifer Townsend, 21 a fourth-year business student from St. Louis about the lecture.

Cristina Betts, 20, a third-year business administration student from Kansas City, Kan. said although she was unable to attend, it was something we should all be proud of.

“I think it’s an honor that he came and I feel definitely feel like those students that were able to attend were at a great advantage,” Betts said. “To have the opportunity to have a class with him [Mayor Marks] in such a private personal setting is pretty cool.”