On April 17th, the 4th Annual ECU Alumni Lectures celebrated our fourth speaker – Kyle McCandless! Kyle McCandless is a 2012 graduate who received his masters in Anthropology. Currently, Kyle is an instructor and in a faculty training program at Gilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC – near Greensboro. The title of his talk was, “Education and the Real World: Integration and Transitions.”
As a reminder, the purpose of ECU Anthropology Alumni Lecture series is designed for former ECU anthropology students to share their expertise and experiences to current anthropology students who are preparing to graduate or who are anticipating to graduate in the next few years. We hope this lecture series creates more of a constructive, practical dialogue between recent ECU anthropology graduates with current ECU anthropology majors.
Kyle’s lecture was very personable, insightful and down-right practical with all of his entertaining words of wisdom. Kyle began his talk by admitting that he was a high-school drop out at the age of 16! He said he wanted to experience the real world so he began working all types of jobs particularly retail and sales jobs. After a few years of the real world, Kyle eventually got his high school degree and enrolled in community college at Gilford Technical Community College. Kyle received his biology degree and later achieved his bachelor’s degree in the fields of Classics and Archaeology. In the meantime, Kyle continued to work in all types of jobs including working at the airport and laboratory work in the medical library.
What was so fascinating about Kyle’s talk was that he STRONGLY emphasized that it was his REAL WORLD job experiences that provided him the real SKILLS to be an instructor today at Gilford Technical Community College. The SKILLS that Kyle learned from his jobs were teamwork, time management, computer knowledge, typing, and communicate effectively.
Along with emphasizing the skills that he has acquired through his life experiences, Kyle had a number of WORDS OF WISDOM or “sayings” that made his talk captivating. Here are a few of them:
“If you are not ahead, you are behind.”
“Build people up from their knowledge base.”
“Pay attention to your interaction with others.”
“Expect to use your universal skill sets.”
“Procrastinating is the dumbest way to be lazy.”
“My attitude determined my outlook.”
“Turn your obstacles into opportunities.”
“Commit to the process.”
Finally, Kyle completed his talk with the following themes: Act on your skills; Ninety-nine (99%) percent of what you will do as a professional will not be related to your discipline; and Use obstacles as opportunities. Kyle’s major themes from his talk and all of his comments were EXACTLY what the students needed to hear. Thus, the title of his talk, “Education and the Real World” Integration and Transitions,” also connected to the major themes of our ECU Anthropology Alumni Lecture series.