Friday, September 26, 2008



That's how the course was listed on the syllabus. I had no idea what the course was about but I knew that it was a required course for all freshman like me at South Carolina State University.

The course was called Professional Development-101. The course is the most important course that I ever took in college. The course taught me principles that I still carry with me to this day...being professional, how to dress/conduct my self on an interview, how to use the correct silverware at a business dinner, etc.

I wish everybody could take that course. In fact, we had to come to class (held once a week), dressed up! If you didn't come in a shirt and dice. You couldn't get in the classroom.

The reason I'm telling y'all about PD-101 is because I went to a job fair yesterday. The job fair was hosted by the minority professional group. 90% of the people who showed up... were dressed nice and looked good. But the other 10%...*sigh*...they looked horrible. Lemme recap what I saw...

a dude with a Chad Johnson football jersey on...

a chick with her arms exposed with the word "SEXY" tattoo'd on her forearm...(And she wasn't even sexy)...

a dude with a Braves hat AND a doo rag...

a chick with 8 inch pumps...looks like she borrowed the shoes from a stripper...

a dude with a white t-shirt and gray sweatpants...

a chick who brought her 2 year old child with her...

there were countless others in jeans and sneakers.

C'mon black people.

A job fair/interview is the time that you have to sell yourself! You can't sell yourself to a company if you look a fool!

PSA from 12kyle...

1. Throw on a suit, pantsuit, or some other business attire

2. Make sure that your hair is groomed. Personally, I would recommend cutting dreads and beard but that's up to you.

3. No short skirts

4. No kids

5. Look like the CEO and you'll say a lot about yourself

6. Greet everyone with a firm handshake

7. Make eye contact, smile, nod your head.

8. If you get a business card, follow up with a thank you letter or card.

Everybody didn't take PD-101. I feel blessed that I did. I'd be remiss if I didn't pass on my info on to my people. I know that most of you reading this know where I'm coming from.

I hated seeing that 10% today.

We've gotta do better than that.


eclectik said...

Awwww man...C'mon least a short skirt...1 or 2, gimmie some incentive while I look for employment.

What if these people were looking for jobs as sanitation technicians and pole coreographers?



dessex said...

Not a chad johnson jersey. People should know better, and if they don't someone slipped up.

I'm sure that 10 percent felt out of place

Darius T. Williams said...

Yup - we CERTAINLY do understand where you're coming from. We've still got work to do.

Pro said...

um, sorry bruh, i can't even letcha slide on this one. but SCSU should get their HBCU card pulled for having y'all pay an entire semester for a course Blacks grew up knowing to do. i know you saw some hot ass mess at the job fair, but remember we talking 'bout a group of new breed. they aren't yet the generation of young folk being raised by our age group with kids yet (we still got babies and churren not quite in high school - unless we started early, even then we raising them according to the principals -of dress and attire- we know are decent). so, this breed not dressed for success makes us look bad as a whole. and i'm still trippin' that SCSU made y'all pay like actual dollars and use hours and credits for that class. they making a cool milli' off them freshman. but gone rep yo alma mater.

'Skegee U up in dis bitch! *wink*

pink said...

thats just common sense to me....and i would think it would be to others...but i guess not. they offered a class like that at my high school. well it was really a class more like a senior project. we had to create a portfolio with recommendation letters, essays, a resume, and some other stuff and then you had a mock interview with a member of the community you got a grade on how well put together your portfolio was and how you did in the interview...

12kyle said...

@ e
The short skirts were a good look for the fellaz to gaze at but not for the women who wore em

@ dessex
Dude must've forgot that Chad changed his last name to Ocho Cinco

@ Darius
A LOT of work!

@ Pro
I hear what you are saying. But trust me...that class is sooooo necessary for these kids. Not just the ones of today but the ones that I went to school with too. Very necessary. I'm not mad at SC State.

@ pink
Now that is what I'm talkin bout!

Rich said...

Like Pro I was surprised that you all got that course. It was always an understood mindset for those of us seeking higher education at the University of Florida - Go Gators! Now on the flip, PD-101 needs to be a high school course because most of the folks in our hood don't make it to college.

I wonder if you saw the cat in the shirt and tie, but dude was damn near sagging. I've seen that and just shook my head. Dude, why bother.

Still, a good post. I have a similar one I was thinking about doing. I still might.

Keisha "Kitten" Isaacs said...

Hey Brother!

I actually think the course you had to take was a good one! Although it would be even better if that were a mandatory course for ALL high school students.

As far as the job fair and inappropriate attire goes....that is straight up ignorance...and I mean that in the sense of lack of knowledge....You never know...God may have sent you there to give wisdom to those who clearly didn't know any better.....or better yet let you know that wisdom is needed for those who clearly don't know any better......There's a scripture that says "a fool thinks that what they are doing is right, but a wise man seeks Godly counsel" just might have been the Godly counsel in the house!

You ever thought about starting a business/program/ministry that educates folks of PD 101??????? Food for thought....a thought for prayer! :)

The Jaded NYer said...

That is so sad that people showed up underdressed, and it's even sadder to think no one ever thought to tell them how to prepare for a job fair.

we ALL need to do better...

Charece said...

I'm so going to use this for my student for our Work It/Work Ethics class next month.

It's true though some people just don't get it...You would think people would know...we actually had a store some on site to interview my students and they also had to complete a questionaire with question like "would you steal $5 from your register if you really needed it? or "if you saw and employee stealing money or items from the store would you report them?" You would not guess what some of my students wrote and had an explanation for them?

Some of them said yeah I would take the money if I really needed it... and for the other question they said no they wouldn't report them cause I'm not a "snitch". LORD HELP EM!

Rezidl said...

CBW, SMH...Waaakkee Upppp!

It's partly a generational thing. These young people see themselves as the "grinders" and "go-getters" and not necessarily as the corporate office types. Their thinking about professionalism reflects it. You and me want them to embrace what we want, but times have changed. If they didn't have MTV and BET to watch, maybe things would be different.

Rich & Pro...Kyle generalized the course. I was in there with him. The focus was on creating the foundation for excellence in business. Superb writing, expertise in business analytics, and mastering the art/science of networking. While most of the students had the basics -dress professionally, speak intelligently, and shake hands firmly- the average freshman does not come in skillful at presenting to an audience of 300 people or dissecting stock picks over 90 days to make a credible investment recommendation for a client. That course was about creating a CEO mentality, which many business programs do not do.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

u said it com-on black people

PCD (Pretty Circle Drawer) said...

school the chil'ren!!! thats a mess, and a shame...but it is what it is. i truly believe this tpe of understanding starts at home...even to the point where it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing, as long as you are polished and together. but sadly, not everyone has access to these lessons...

Queen of My Castle said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I actually thought about starting an etiquette program for teenage girls to teach them how to act/dress/dance for any occasion. When I say dance, I am referring to ballroom dancing.

Sexxy Luv said...

I know you hated seeing them, but i would have been taking pictures and lmao! we all can't be perfect, but they sure do need to try!

have a great weekend!!!!!!

B said...

Ohmigoodness, shoot me now. One of my pet peeves is seeing people in a professional setting NOT dressing professionally. It drives me nuts. I remember going to job fairs at 18 years old and wearing dress suits and heels. Why don't people get it? Jeans? Really? ....deniiiied!

12kyle said...

@ Rich
The mindset was understood by most of us who went to South Carolina State. However, there were quite a few who had to "buy" into that concept. I'm sure that like went to school with TONS of kids who just didn't have a clue about anything. Nevertheless, it was shocking to see my people looking like that. I was always taught to throw on a suit...even if you're dropping off an application to work fries at McD's.

@ Keisha the Kitten
Thanks for your kind words. I've given that some thought. There's a certain business accumen that we ALL must have no matter our field. It's definitely something that I'm passionate about

@ Jaded Santana
It was sad...and triflin', too!

@ Charece
Wow! That's unreal. That whole "snitch" mentality is so sickening to me.

@ Rezidl
Dead on point, son! I did generalize the course. It encouraged you to have that CEO mentality that we walk around with. CEO swagger! I wouldn't trade that course for anything. It definitely helped us.

12kyle said...

@ rawgdawgbuffalo
We need help. We've gotta do better

It definitely starts at home. If they don't get the proper training at home...where are they gonna get it from?

@ Queen
I think that's a great idea. We've talked about it before. Ballroom dancing. I love it. It's a lot better than teaching them how to drop it like its hot

@ Sexxy Luv
I was tempted to but I was too pissed that I couldn't laugh or find any humor in it. I could only shake my head

@ B
It drives me crazy, too. There were no white people there. And if they would have been even worse b/c they would have confirmed what a lot of them already think.

Charece said...

Yes that mentality is sickening and these kids feel so strongly about it too, and even if that's how you really feel that's not how you answer when your tryna get a J.O.B. Sometimes you gotta "play" the part and wear the suit and tie even if you a jeans and timbs kinda guys, but that's not gonna get you any where but they don't wanna hear that!

Keith said...

I feel you Kyle, but a lot of what you said is just plain old common
sense..People know they're going on a job interview..I think somehow or other they don't really want to be successful and just want to have an excuse for not being. I see the same thing up here. People coming to interviews with hand written resumes, tatoos
on their arms and legs..Skirts that are more fit for the club than for the office..The whole 9 yards. I just shake my head half of the time.

PrettyBlack said...

hahahahaha! I used to have to work the job fairs out here when I worked for Pacific Bell. I must say there are more than 10% in Cali dressed like they have an oz in their pockets looking for customers!

It's funny because alot of the community colleges offer that class. A little learning goes a long waaaaaaay.

And homegirl with the baby...I'm kind of split on that because maybe she needed the job (at least she was out there looking) and no one to watch her baby, but then again I used to ask, "would you be able to find suitable childcare if offered a job."

PrettyBlack said...

Oh and I'm weak at the "sexy" tattoo and the biatch wasn't sexy. hahaha! that's a problem.

ShellyShell said...

I'm not surprised..which is sad. The foolishness I see by our people on a daily basis makes me sooo pissed! I work at a major investment bank and my coworker(wife beater) thinks it's cool to wear wife beaters to work. Today this fool has on jeans(uhh we're not allowed to wear jeans)they're black and trimmed with gold and has shyt all over the pockets iwth rain boots that have skull and crosses on them and a sweater. Uhh you think that's ok?

Anyway when I lived in DC I worked with a group of ninth graders(boys and girls)and we took them to a four star restaurant.They had to wear shirt and tie, skirts or dresses. They were taught what forks to use, the difference in glasses etc. A lot of these kids graduated this past spring from college. By chance I ran into a few of them in DC and they rmemembered me and said that me taking them to the restaurant really helped them out! It made my heart feel good!

I concur black folks NEED to do better!!

Stew said...

i never took a class about this stuff, but i learned it as i went through life. you cant put a price on that kind of knowledge. knowing this stuff is just as important as knowing you address.

Eb the Celeb said...

if you link that god awful college one more time I swear... we know where you went to school 12kyle... and now because of your blog we know their website by heart... we dont need you to link it everytime you mention it... better yet.. trying going a month without mentioning...
challenge for kyle... challenge for kyle


12kyle said...

@ Charece
You are exactly right. You have to play the part

@ Keith
Handwritten resumes??? Are u kidding? That's crazy!!!

@ prettyblack
Trust me...she wasn't even CLOSE to being sexy!!!

@ shellyshell
Wife beater in corporate america??? *sigh*

That's a damn shame

@ Stew
You are right bruh. Knowing is half the battle!

@ Eb the Celeb
Are you mad b/c I didn't mention your school...NC A&T (awful and terrible) Aggies aka (Raggies). Haaaaa

Big Cheekz said...

i can't stand seeing things like what you mentioned. and half that 10% will blame something else on why they didn't get the interview. some of US have no clue.

Tha L said...

SMMFH kyle. Bruh, I feel u so much on this post. I work at a university, as you know, and some of these chirren (black, brown, white, whateva) could sure use a class like this! no wonder so many of the people I talk to about offering paid internships at their companies are so hesitant to do so...when folks show up lookin' like hot ass messes, they can't expect to be paid, right?!

Bedlam said...

Church, what do you expect !!!! Folk People have been programmed to dress and carry a (more than different) style that our mediums present. POP!! Look at Folk People magazines, TV, music, listen to Folk People talk, Watch, Watch, Watch, Watch Folk People. We Only Imitate Our Atmosphere. Folk People think that jerseys, tattoos, hats, looking like a stripper...(let me think about this for a moment -huuuummm) POP!! ok, etc... is alright, and we let this come into our culture with open arms, then complain about WE CANNOT FIND A DAME JOB. We have been so wrapped up with the 'im down attitude' that it has destroyed the future of most Folk People, **stripper huh** I don't know what is wrong with our people, POP!! I can point fingers, point point, "BEDLAM its not nice to point". Well, to each his/her own

BEDLAM in a screwed up society

12kyle said...

@ Big Cheekz
You are right. They will be quick to say that somebody is racist or biased b/c they didn't give them a shot but they eliminated themselves by their appearance

@ L
You see it everyday. And I know you'd like to help some of the churren but you can't stick your neck out for some bs

@ Bedlam
Welcome to the 12th Planet. Make sure that u come back. We have a good time over here. We're here every bad traffic

Somehow...some way...we need to help change the mindset. Their futures depend on it.

Jackie E. said...

I almost thought you were kidding for a moment and then I realized you weren't. All I can is Lord Have Mercy. C'mon people, c'mon!!!

12kyle said...

@ Jackie
I wish that I were kidding. It was very disappointing to see my people like that.

Mizrepresent said...

oh yeah, you are on target with this one.

12kyle said...

@ Miz
Thanks! As always...'preciate the luv

i.can't.complain. said...

arm tat's on chicks are a huge no...


how about tacky


glad u posted this

our people have got to get it together


The Dreamy One said...

tell em Kyle.

sometimes I tell you some people just dont have any sense at all!!!

great tips!!

12kyle said...

@ -1-
I would've giveb her the benefit of the doubt if she was cute. LoL. But she looked a hot mess...and the tat made her look worst.
@ dreamy
It makes me sick to see our folks like that

Keith said...

A Guy came to a job I used to work
at with a hand written resume. Guess What? I hired him...He turned
out to be a great worker and a good
person, but I told him, "Don't you
ever, ever turn in a hand written resume again."

Rich said...

Based on Rezidl's comment, the class sounded like it was all that. I see why you dug it.

Man, I was SOO surprised at all the GHETTO folks who came to college. Dudes acted like they were still on the street. Quite a few didn't finish, some even got straight kicked out.

12kyle said...

@ Keith
U r a good dude. I prolly wouldn't have hired him. LoL

@ Rich
I felt the same way. I was surprised with the "ghettoness" in college.

Anonymous said...

I laughed at the 10%, but it isn't funny. Damn shame. We are such a strong people. What will it take for us to wake up and do better???

12kyle said...

@ Jewells
We are too good of a race of people to look that bad

A.M. said...

aww...that was sweet of u to pass it on because u know, some people just don't know any better and it isn't even there fault. look forward to seeing u around my blog :)

12kyle said...

@ A.M.
I had to say something. If I ever see it again...I'll pull somebody to the side and speak with them in private

Miss Mika said...

Even though I think that a lot of job fairs are jokes, I still don't see why people don't put their best food forward if they plan on attending. Come on people, if you are going to a JOB fair, dress how you would if you were going on an interview. Seems like that would be common sense.

SMH @ the 10%