“If you’d asked me about my strengths at that point, I might have said I’m organized and I have good communication skills,” she says. “The list would stop at that point.”
One day when she and Scott were talking, Batts smiled—“a million-watt smile,” Scott says. He told Batts he believed she had a lot to offer, and he encouraged her to lead with the positive energy shining through her smile.
“That’s you,” he told her.
Helping students unlock their strengths and lead with authenticity is Scott’s own superpower. “We talk all the time about how, in business, you have to be yourself, and you have to be consistent. Business is about people—whether you’re a doctor, a bakery owner, or a steel salesman. If you can’t connect authentically with people, you are going to fail.
It makes sense, but for many of Scott’s students, “authenticity” is a foreign concept. “This is the first generation that’s ever grown up with social media. My 32-year-old daughter didn’t have it, but my 25-year-old has never known a world without it,” he says. “Many of these kids don’t know an authentic world. They don’t know who they are beyond who they are on a reel.”
Scott takes the time to listen to his students, and he guides them on their path to self-discovery.
“After having taken his class, I know what I can contribute to my personal life and my career,” says Batts, who plans to graduate in December with a degree in business administration. “Instead of two basic and common characteristics that a lot of people have, I know that I’m observant, I’m detail-oriented, I’m strong-willed, and the list continues.”
That’s what Batts led with when she recently landed her dream job with Cone Health’s HR department. “I’m a young African American woman and was able to secure a position in a competitive business field,” she says. “When I think about my journey—especially when I think back to that first day I walked into Business 115—it leaves me speechless. If that class hadn’t been there to teach me about myself, there’s no telling where I would be.”