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Shifting Seasons

Posted by UWSPcps - November 24, 2020 - Academics, Business and Economics, Kevin I., MBA, MBA Students

The changing seasons have always intrigued me; our world circling the sun, the temperature rising and falling, snow drifting to the ground and disappearing from the presence of the sun and its offered heat. A concept as simple as flipping to the next page of your calendar and as complex as the circle of life: Seasons come and go like people, faults, happiness, and gratitude.

Not long ago, I was on my normal commute to work when I realized fall had officially made its appearance known. Leaves were shades of orange and red, the temperature on my dash told me it was in the 30s, and the sun was rising a touch later than it had in days prior. The shift from summer to fall means a variety of things–sighs for those wishing the warm weather would stick around and excitement from those that have been waiting for Packers football and hunting season. Regardless, there is no stopping Mother Nature and her inevitable push toward continuance.

The ebbs and flows of our personal and professional lives relate strongly to the physical seasons we experience. The cyclicality of our own seasons aren’t as linear and are difficult to forecast, but we do go through phases and chapters. What sparks the following season is somewhat up to us and somewhat up to the people we surround ourselves with.

Earlier this year, when I was still acting as the graduate assistant for the UW-Stevens Point MBA program, I was walking across a university parking lot when a young woman I had never seen before said, “Good morning!” and just continued on her way. The greeting caught me so off guard, I almost didn’t return an acknowledgment. After another 30 seconds or so of walking, I had another individual hold the door for me and smile.

Why any of this matters: Those two small interactions nudged me into a new season.

Okay, that seems dramatic, but for some reason, those two instances stuck out to me – arguably longer than they should have. I told Prof. Lyna Matesi about them minutes after they happened and my wife about them later that day. Small acts of kindness, at least in my opinion, shouldn’t be that striking. But they are! It seems as if kindness is so often talked about, but rarely practiced. We should all work together to get to the bottom of that phenomenon.

Later that day, I made my first (original) LinkedIn post mentioning what happened and ended up interacting with several people because of it. Since those initial interactions on LinkedIn took place, I find myself encouraging others and by doing so, feeling encouraged myself.

So why am I sharing this with you and why this month? Take a look at the calendar, and unless you’ve been living under a rock (where at least you’d be guarded from COVID-19), and you’ll notice a holiday coming up on the Nov. 26; a holiday of thanks and giving (get it?).

As you spend time with your family for the holiday–in person or otherwise–I encourage you to be available, be open and be ready for a shift in your own season. If you feel the need to help your brother, maybe your next season is helping others navigate through the pandemic. If your grandmother is feeling alone because she’s isolated, your next season could be to keep those around you company by checking in on them once every few days. And when you head back to the office or back to your WFH station, consider your season and how you can make a change or be a change for the better.

A new season is just around the corner and an old season is about to pass; where will your season take you?

Kevin Ile

After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Kevin Ile ’19, MBA ’20 served as a graduate assistant for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point MBA program. Since completing the program, Kevin has advanced into a commercial lender role with Peoples State Bank in Wausau, Wisconsin. He can be contacted at kevin.ile@bankpeoples.com.

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