‘Find your talent and show it off. Miami is here to see it.’
There’s no doubt that Miami talent exists and is flourishing – from engineers and designers inspired by #MiamiTech, to top creatives, health care professionals and more. Miami is considered the #CapitalofCapital, as Mayor Francis Suarez distinctly dubbed it, and this week we amplified Miami’s human capital in a big way.
Thousands of students and employers from across the country are flocking to the 305 to discover how Miami can help both employers and students achieve their dreams. In fact, Miami-Dade County officially marked September 7 as #TalentDay, a county-wide celebration to highlight Miami’s local talent in the form of students, young alumni, employers, and community members, and how paid internships are key to attracting top talent and to building a strong local workforce.
This #TalentDay, the Talent Development Network, South Florida’s premier internship hub that connects high school and college students with PAID internship opportunities and employers with rock-star interns, hosted the first-ever Talent Day Block Party at the heart of the city we call home – The Wharf Miami. More than 300 students from across Miami’s seven major academic institutions, Barry University, Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, Miami Dade College, Miami Dade County Public Schools, St. Thomas University, and the University of Miami, gathered together to engage and network with Miami’s most inspirational industry leaders, employers, fellow colleagues, executives, and representatives.
Impactful keynote speakers joined the party and shared their stories to realizing their talents and tips for success:
Fefi Oliveira, UM alumna: 4 P’s for success
Born in Venezuela, Fefi Oliveira realized her dream at only 16 years old: to move away from a country with limits to a limitless Miami to become an actress. A Latina and an immigrant, Oliveira shared her stories of countless no’s, until the one yes changed her life forever. Now, Oliveira is not only a successful actress, she is also one of four founders of Influur, the unique app that connects businesses with content creators and influencers. She is a social media influencer herself, boasting more than one million followers on Instagram and four million followers on Tik Tok.
Passion: Eccentric on the inside and outside, Oliveira shared with students that passion is what ultimately fuels what she does every day. Best known for her roles as Mercedes and Delaila on Nickelodeon’s TV show Club 57, for Oliveira, passion for what you do, passion for your dreams, and passion in your life is what can ultimately drive you to the next level of your career.
Perseverance: For Oliveira, perseverance and consistency were key to her achieving her dreams. After 150 no’s from casting directors, Oliveira finally received the yes she was looking for, kick-starting her career in Latin and American TV. She emphasized to all students to never take no for an answer – instead, see the word no as a “new opportunity” to learn and try again.
Patience: Patience is a virtue, after all. For Oliveira, patience in everything that you do is key – if at first you don’t accomplish what you set out for, the time is not right. Be patient, wait for your time, and try again.
Preparation: Take the time and energy to prepare for anything you’re working on. For Oliveira, it was acting and social media, and she prepared for the industry by obtaining her degree from the University of Miami and by preparing her Tik Tok and Instagram content with strategy and relevance.
The key to success from Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones: adaptability and self-discipline
A University of Connecticut alumnus and an unheralded two-star recruit out of high school, Byron Jones was picked in the 2015 NFL first draft by the Dallas Cowboys and later made his way to Miami to play as a cornerback for the Miami Dolphins. An all-star both on the field and off, Jones continues to develop his skillset outside of football in entrepreneurship, real estate, community service, and financial wellness. In the NFL, Jones learned that being adaptable to any situation is the key to success because it pushes you to learn new things that can lead you to realizing your talent and dreams. Most importantly, developing self-discipline is essential to push yourself to your greatest potential.
It doesn’t matter how you start; it just matters how you get there. Take it from the first female president of Miami Dade College, Madeline Pumariega
Hialeah girl Madeline Pumariega just became the FIRST female president of Miami Dade College – an institution she attended herself decades ago. Prior to becoming Ms. President, Pumariega served as the first female and Hispanic chancellor of the Florida College System, where she implemented strategies to keep Florida colleges accessible for all.
For Pumariega, her success stemmed from the opportunities she took and what she made of them, regardless of where she came from – an inspiring message for Miami’s diverse group of students to consider.
If you’re looking for a way to show-off your talent, the Talent Development Network can help with paid internship opportunities, career resources, and connections to launch your career, right at home.
Find your talent and show it off. Miami is here to see it.
Krysten Brenlla is the Account Manager for Florida International University’s Office of Engagement, where she manages the Office’s social media, public relations, and marketing. Prior to her role at FIU, Krysten worked at a boutique marketing and PR agency in Fort Lauderdale. She is a current candidate for FIU’s Global Strategic Communication program in the School of Communication + Journalism.
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