Loud music, crowded tables, and dim lights are not the most common environments to inspire a group of students about their futures.
However, Jeff Bodzewski, Purdue alum and current director of social marking at Aspen Marketing Services, saw the nighttime scene at Harry’s Chocolate Shop as a way to connect students’ current social lives to their future careers.
Speaking to students in Purdue’s liberal arts influentials course, Bodzewski personalized the speech to his audience with his “Lessons from a Fishbowl” presentation, the “fishbowl” referring to a nickname for Purdue’s most popular bar.
Abby Breeden, a Purdue communication major, appreciated Bodzewski’s attention to Purdue’s student culture.
“I think it helps students cultivate a part of their personal identity or brand,” she said. “He made me think about what role I fulfill while I am at Harry’s.”
Bodzewski’s lessons from a fishbowl included the importance of
choosing your company, seeking opportunities, and living your brand.
Following his own advice with his creative presentation, Bodzewski emphasized the importance
of creating a genuine brand while developing a career.
“What do you want to stand for?” he asked. “Find a way to differentiate yourself.”
Referring to the adventure seekers found at Harry’s, Bodzewski named taking risks as one vital aspect of finding a dream job.
“Don’t look back with regrets and make it happen,” he said. “That’s the fun part of life.”
Irwin Weiser, dean of Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts, agreed that it was critical to realize that the outcomes of risks taken now may not be immediate, but they will prove to be beneficial in the future.
“It’s important to understand that accomplishments carry beyond where you are working,” he said.
Jeff Bodzewski graduated Purdue University with a degree in communication and a minor in political science. He stays active at Purdue, speaking at student societies, such as PRSSA, and various communication classes.
Written by Rebecca Courtney
Junior, Public Relations