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Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Karen Parkin

February 05, 2015

  • Copyright 2015All rights reserved

by Lincoln Boyd, ASLC President ’15

A few weeks ago I signed up for the Career Development Center Dinner with Karen Parkin, the Global Chief HR Officer for Adidas. I am not going to lie, I signed up for the event because I saw “free dinner,” however I left the dinner with more than a full stomach. I had the fortune of being seated at Ms. Parkin’s table, where I was able to converse with her on a number of topics ranging from professional development to professional soccer.

 During the dinner Ms. Parkin gave a speech about defining, pursuing, and realizing your personal “all.” She walked us through her journey from being a teacher to showing up to interviews unprepared to becoming the Global Chief HR Officer for Adidas. The entire time she emphasized the importance dreaming and pursuing those dreams with tenacity. I recently accepted a job as an elementary school teacher in Mississippi and have been somewhat nervous about starting my career path. I am not entirely sure where I will end up in life, but I think I have an idea of where I want to be.

(Ariel Gold 15' introduced Ms. Parkin)(Ariel Gold 15' introduced Ms. Parkin)

 This dinner helped me put my life into perspective. It was incredible to interact with someone who once stood in my shoes and shared very similar thoughts with me. Ms. Parkin’s wisdom and story shed light on the many different directions life can take you. After the night concluded, I remember thinking, “How did I not know about these dinners? I wish I had been attending these dinners throughout my career at Lewis & Clark.”

 The opportunity to sit down over a meal with top business leaders from a variety of professional sectors is something that others would pay large sums of money to do.I was not expecting to have such a life changing night; after all, I originally only signed up for the free dinner. It ending up being one of those nights where the words you hear stick and remain with you forever.I am beyond thankful that Lewis & Clark provides such unique opportunities for their students and I am glad I was able to spend an evening with my peers and Ms. Parkin.