McKendree UniversityUNA President and CEO, Anthony Clervi, recently visited his alma mater McKendree University to encourage the next generation of business professionals to pursue their professional and personal goals.  Since his graduation in 2008, he has gone from basic data entry to now the owner and President of a fast-growing buying group. Now Anthony is paying it forward by sharing his experience in the business world to inspire soon-to-be college graduates to plug away and make a difference in their sphere of influence.

Dr. Jean M. Scheller-Sampson, Chair for the School of Business at McKendree University notes, “We stress the importance of our students giving back or paying it forward.  Anthony is a great example of paying it forward by coming back to McKendree and meeting with current students.  McKendree is so lucky to have graduated as giving and committed [a person] as Anthony.”

Here are some highlights and feedback from Anthony’s time in the School of Business at McKendree University:

Five Tips for Success from Anthony Clervi:

1. Persistence Is Key

I had plenty of ups and downs. I was fired, I didn’t get jobs I thought I should have, and where I am today is not where I thought I would end up. But I knew I wanted more out of my life and career than my experiences had yielded. So I kept pressing in, working hard, and trying new things. Persistence is key and can unlock a successful career.

2. Stretch Yourself

Sticking with something, even if it’s hard, will get you far in life. It won’t always be easy. In fact, you should prepare yourself for discomfort. Get good at putting yourself in stretching situations, as it’s the only way you will move ahead in life and your profession.

3. Manage Your Emotions

Learn how to take feedback and chose to grow from it instead of allowing your emotions to get the best of you. There is an old saying ‘you can either increase your income or your ego, but you can’t do both at the same time.’ You want to win the person, not the argument, so make a choice to be a learner early in your career.

4. Leaders Are Readers

I am a firm believer in the power of reading books and consistently posturing yourself as a learner. Some books I recommend for thinking strategically as a leader and growing professionally are:

5. Work with Purpose

Always work with purpose. Set a plan and be okay with the plan changing as long as you’re moving forward. Everyone is in a rush to get to the top. You can set yourself apart by being willing to put in 110% of your time and effort into becoming excellent and being willing to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. Develop an excellent work ethic and a learner’s mentality and the sky’s the limit.

Anthony made me feel more comfortable about graduation. I was so afraid that things weren't going to work out job-wise after graduation, but now I know that even if it doesn't work out immediately, it will work out eventually

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