Going to the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center, for the “Understanding Differences that Matter: Diversity Research at Auburn University”, I was a little nervous. Approaching people I do not know and asking them if I can do a video interview on them is a little awkward for me. Little did I know what a great experience it would be.
I was nervous because I had heard a few other classmates saying that a lot of the people that they had asked were not willing to give them an interview. I am the type of person that if I get shot down or discouraged like that, then I will not want to continue doing what I was doing. So I was praying that I would approach someone who was nice to me.
Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center is a swanky place. I felt really important when I walked in, dressed in my cute little business dress. I made it to the ballroom and found all sorts of people eating food, drinking and talking with others.
I felt out of place at first because I did not know anyone there. I was looking for our department chair, Dr. Mary Helen Brown, but could see her nowhere. Since I could not find her, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands and find someone to interview. I saw a woman standing by herself and asked if I could video interview her. She was not very keen on the idea but we did end up talking for a few minutes. After she left, I walked aimlessly around trying to find someone I could ask to help me out.
Finally, I spotted Dr. Mary Helen Brown! What a relief. She started pointing people out to me and I was finally feeling a little relieved because I had a few directions I could take. While we were talking, the president of Auburn University, Jay Gogue, was introduced and he started talking. Dr. Mary Helen Brown told me that I should video him while he was talking to everyone, so I did. I felt kind of star struck to be standing so close to him and actually getting video of him. I know I am a nerd, but things like that really excite me.
After the president made his speech, I continued to get advice about whom I could interview. After she told me a bunch of people to try, I went up to a group of women who were teachers at Opelika City Schools. I asked a woman in the group if she would mind me getting a video interview of her for a class project. She was a little nervous about it but she graciously agreed to help me out.
We walked out of the ballroom so it would be a little quieter and I started to ask her questions. For being as nervous as she was, she did an excellent job. She really had a passion about the issue of diversity and you could really tell while she was talking. She was so sweet and I was so glad she was one of the first people I had asked.
Even though I was nervous going into the conference, I really enjoyed myself and was proud about the job I did. I would not have traded this experience for anything.
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