Billy Lanford to share his experience at the Vision, Process, Both? event

Courtesy GVSU

Courtesy GVSU

Amanda Rogers

Entering the professional world right after college can be a scary thing. With a lack of professional experience, students can feel ill-prepared for the real world. This insecurity is exactly why Billy Lanford will be sharing some of his insight and experience with Grand Valley State University. 

On Wednesday, Jan. 9, Lanford will be speaking at the Vision, Process, Both? event. The talk will take place at Seidman Forum 1008A on GVSU’s Pew Campus from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m.

Lanford is currently the Ambassador of Wellness and the Director of Operation at A.K. Rikk’s in Grand Rapids, Mich. He has had a lot of experience with interviews and has learned what to do and what not to do, so he wants to share that with others.

“My biggest passion is helping people take that next step,” Lanford said. “Everybody has that next step. Whether you are a college student or a CEO, it doesn’t matter because you are constantly evolving.” 

Through this event, Lanford hopes to give students insight and share what companies are truly looking for. He said that a lot of people are waiting to be told what to do, but that is not what companies want. 

“If there was one thing I would want everybody to walk out with (from the event), it would be learning to be solution based,” Lanford said. 

He said that anybody can point out a problem, but it is those who come up with solutions to problems that are the people who stand out. He also said that being self aware is very important; you should know what you are good at and show companies how that skill would be a value to them.

Lanford plans for the event to be more than just a speech. He wants to spin the discussion into more of a question and answer and have a focus on the students and their needs. 

“I want them to take to heart what I am saying,” Lanford said. “The goal would be to have someone take one thing and go do something with it.”

He said that interaction is everything, so he is looking forward to some disagreements and arguments from the crowd. He said he likes to be as vulnerable as possible for these types of events, so he uses all of his ups and downs as catalysts for teaching and he loves when he gets that in return. 

“I really just enjoy giving and hopefully challenging thought and making somebody go home and question something and then act upon it,” Lanford said. “That to me is everything.”

Lanford said that in the last 13 years he has read about 20 to 30 books a year. Because of this, he has plenty of knowledge to offer and wants to be like “cliff notes” for someone who doesn’t read much. He hopes for this event to be group led by the audience because “that is where all the growth happens.”