Wiz Khalifa was born in North Dakota and grew up in a variety of cities that seem to be polar opposites of New Orleans, but he seems to understand our philosophy and way of life pretty well.  He encourages fans to “work hard, play hard,” and whether or not you follow his music, I think he’s pretty spot-on with this viewpoint.

We are so lucky that we live in a city that has a variety of social offerings practically every weekend of the year.  For goodness sake, we just had winter holidays, the Superbowl and Mardi Gras all back to back! I for one feel like I am just catching my breath.  So, when planning events here in the Career Development Center, we continually compete with the city no matter the weekend.

Our approaching Employ the Pack conference is gearing up to be a fantastically informative half-day for attendees.  We are aware, though, that the Irish Channel Walking Parade is happening on the same day as the conference.  I’d like to point out the fact that the conference will be finished by 1:30pm, just about when the parade is scheduled to begin, and you can most likely catch all of it at a “second-half” spot.  Plus, the actual St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, with two parades to celebrate.  However obvious the option is to me, I would still like to help you in making sure you get the most bang for your buck on Saturday, March 16th. 

Priority #1: Surround yourself with green.

Irish Channel Parade: You will wear green.  You will catch cheap plastic green beads.  You may or may not drink green beverages.  Green vegetables will fly dangerously close to your three-year-old cousin’s head, who is also wearing green.

Employ the Pack conference: You will hear a wealth of knowledge from seasoned professionals who have found a way to make some green while still following their passions.  Discover yourself as a professional, a networker, an agent of change.  Whatever your passion, you will learn how to fulfill it both practically and financially.

Priority #2: Experience new things.

Irish Channel Parade:  Perhaps kissing lots of older men on the cheek in exchange for faux foliage is not something you have experienced before.  Fair enough.  But don’t say you haven’t seen a New Orleans parade, unless you’ve just transferred to Loyola in the past three weeks.

Employ the Pack conference: The Employ the Pack conference has been planned with graduating seniors and recent alumni in mind.  Therefore, the chosen workshops and keynote speakers will present to you knowledge that is on a bigger picture scale.   This isn’t your standard come-to-campus-on-a-Saturday-to-learn conference.  You’ll be exposed to novel and important ideas.  You’ll be able to explore options and feel supported in making a sound decision for your future.

Priority #3: Work hard.

Irish Channel Parade:  Some of those cabbages are heavy, and you may have to fight over them with a parade neighbor.  Also, some of the walkers are stingy with their flower giveaways, and they may really make you work for them.

Employ the Pack conference: I have no doubt that Loyola students are pros at “playing hard.” But, is “working hard” just as much a priority for you?  Have you put in four grueling years to Loyola University, and could potentially have cabbages to show for it? As cliché as it may be, let’s think about your future!

So, where are your priorities?

I will see you all on Saturday, March 16th.  You may be wearing a green suede suit and carrying a briefcase full of potatoes, but at the end of the day, we decided to take a gamble that job seeking students and local alumni would find the networking opportunity and skill development at the conference more valuable than the parade.

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