An Opportunity Greenville Experience
Wednesday, September 18, 2013on
The LEAD programs of the Greenville Chamber serve in part to support and grow awareness of our community and opportunities to engage. Opportunity Greenville begins soon with an emphasis on providing learning opportunities and developing relationships while fostering a sense of community involvement. Stinson Ferguson shares her experience as an Opportunity Greenville participant, and the impact that it made on her both personally and professionally. Consider adding a new page in “your” story by being a part of this year’s Opportunity Greenville class beginning Sept. 30! My Opportunity Greenville Experience by Stinson Ferguson Although a Spartanburg native, I moved to Greenville a year ago from Charleston to join a local law firm as an associate attorney. Immediately after relocating to the area, I was faced with countless opportunities for community and other professional involvement. In light of the demands of my employment, I recognized the need to be strategic in what I pursued. My firm expects and encourages involvement in both the community and the office, and Opportunity Greenville (OG) served as a stepping stone for me to bridge gaps necessary to achieve this. I approached several colleagues about what OG had to offer. All feedback I received was positive. I was assured that OG is not simply for people from far away or new to the area. It is for Greenvillians both young and old, new and native—for anyone looking to become empowered through knowledge and discourse. I then approached my employer about their endorsement, received extremely positive feedback, and immediately applied. [caption id="attachment_292" align="alignright" width="216" caption="Stinson Ferguson is an Associate at Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A."][/caption] OG was thought-provoking, informative, unforgettable and fun. Each week, I had the opportunity to hear from high-ranking people in the community and State in areas such as government, education, the arts, law enforcement, history, volunteerism, and more. The presenters were also available for private conversations with any participants that desired. We were encouraged to submit questions and remain engaged. Each week I found myself at a table with colleagues from countless other professions. I quickly made new friends, many of which I still meet with regularly for lunch or accompany to professional events. OG provided a level of exposure that is not possible during your average cocktail hour or networking reception. I built long-lasting relationships through OG’s informal networking and learning sessions. Since completing OG, as I walk through the City, I no longer simply see buildings, streets, names, and unfamiliar faces, I now understand how Greenville came to be what it is today, and the influential people of past and present who helped make all of this happen. I am also encouraged and believe that I, too, can contribute to Greenville’s present and future in meaningful ways. OG was an extremely valuable use of my time and I believe that anyone with a hunger to go above and beyond in the workplace and the community should submit an application.