Alright, you read the title of my post, and hopefully found it interesting, thus decided to give it a shot. What is opportunism? How does it differ from taking the advantage of the opportunity(ies)? What is this guy writing about?
When we hear the word opportunism, we immediately know it has a negative connotation. Nevertheless, if we say taking the opportunity, it sounds a lot different, right? Well, let me tell you they are not necessarily so different, except in your approach. Taking advantage of situations with selfishness and waiting for others to fail for you to get a head start is clearly wrong. Now, taking advantage of the opportunities that are provided to everyone in a competitive manner is right thing to do.
The latter is the approach I take. I see the opportunities available out there, I assess if I meet the minimum requirements, if no, I move on. But if I meet the minimum requirement and the deadline hasn’t passed, you bet I’ll take it. For instance, this spring I was browsing the page of my honor society, Golden Key, and I read a title that caught my attention “South African Conference Travel Grant.” I should say, what I really saw was “Free holiday in South Africa.” I did not think twice. I read the requirements, can I apply? -Yes. What do I have to do? -Write an essay explaining why do I want to go. Now things, got a little complicated.
What to do next? I read the title again, and it actually had the word “conference” in it, so I knew I had to write about the conference and not the tourism part. However, that did not stopped me. I researched about what the conference was, when it was going to be held, what was the purpose, and all the details. It took me a while, but in the process I really got interested about the conference. I realized I could get not only a free pass to South Africa but also learn leadership skills too. To shorten the story, a few days before the deadline, late June, I had my research completed and wrote a “passionate essay.” I really wanted to go, so I made that clear in my essay; I supported the essay with a strong, cogent, and convincing argument. In August, when exiting the subway after coming back to NY from my summer stay in South Carolina, I get an e-mail: “South African Conference Travel Grant Winner.” I was ecstatic! I wanted to shout, laugh, jump, and tell everybody of course! I saw the opportunity, I competed fairly, and I was successful.
You might be expecting to know some facts about the actual trip, but that will be in my next week’s blog. The point of this post is to highlight the importance of taking advantage of the different opportunities we have. It does not have to be an honor society, it could be anything. For example, if you like a class in Psychology, and you would like to know more about it, take to your professor and let him/her know. It could turn out that he or she is writing a paper and you could help him/her doing research. You’ll end up being exposed to a world you’ll love. And I’ll write about this in later post.
Thanks for reading. Your comments are welcome, and if you would like me to write about anything else, please let me know.