Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pure luck?

"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
- Thomas Jefferson

In just nine short days new students will be moving onto campus. Along with vans and U-Hauls of possessions, they will arrive with hopes and dreams.

At Bluffton, they will find many opportunities; opportunities to discover, to serve, to grow, to experience, to prepare for life and vocation. And the “lucky” ones will have amazing experiences outside of the classroom that will build their professional resumes.

Four such “lucky” music students will have the opportunity to make their debut in Steinway Hall in New York City on Oct. 21. (news story)

Did the music faculty put all their students’ name in a hat and draw our four random students for this experience? Of course not. These students made their own luck through a combination of natural talent and hard work.

Alumni are invited to Meet us in NY to show our appreciation to these students. The alumni relations office is planning a tour of the Steinway Factory to see a frame being bent for a grand piano. President Harder and his wife Karen will host a meal at Sardi’s. Plus there will be plenty of free time to take in a Broadway play or visit a NY gallery where a Bluffton art professor’s drawings are displayed.

Of course music students are not the only ones to make their own "luck.” Several students have taken advantage of this summer’s Ministry Inquiry Program to assist a pastor, others received a Summer Discovery Grant to carry out an individualized research experience, and still others have gained professional experience through summer internships.

During the school year, there are opportunities to serve as research assistants, tutors, office assistants. Granted, many of these jobs are filing, data entry… not overly exciting. However, the assistants who show ability, trustworthiness, initiative, may be "lucky" enough to receive more interesting projects.

So a word of advice to new students - get involved, work hard, be prepared to take advantage of opportunities if/when they are made available to you. In a nutshell - make your own "luck." And remember: Hard work beats talent when talent won’t work hard.

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