Posts tagged "The Knowledge Bank"

Learn From My Pain!

This morning – as I maneuvered between rooms, getting ready for work – I heard the email notification from my phone – and because I have become slave to the aging iphone 4 – I run every time it calls out to me, anticipating good news regarding Knowledge Bank or correspondence regarding my recent job search. Nothing makes a day start better than a good-news email at 7:30 in the morning. Consequently, nothing makes a day start worse than a bad-news email at 7:30 in the morning. But because I can sometimes be over confident -there’s a little foreshadowing here – I always assume my inbox bears good news, but this morning would be different.

At 7:30 in the morning – before normal business hours – I received an email stating that after much consideration, another candidate had been selected for the position I had interviewed for 22 hours and 45 minutes ago. When I read the email, I immediately had 3 thoughts:

1. Who could have been a better candidate than me?_XCL2986

2. How can “much” consideration be given in 22 hours and 45 minutes?

3. They probably sent this email to the wrong person. I’ll wait for the apology to come later


I went ahead to work like every other day. At the exact moment I’m typing this sentence, it’s been 7 hours and and 15 minutes since I received the “mistakenly sent” rejection email and I have yet to receive the apology email. This leads me to one conclusion. It’s time to swallow the hard pill and accept the fact that I’m not getting the job.

Thankfully, I’m still employed with what my parent’s generation would consider “a good job”, but I still felt this was a perfect “you gone learn today” moment for the CORE readers. So, here’s your lesson…

There are approximately 27 million Americans who are currently unemployed in this country. A significant number of these are teens. Additionally, there are millions of other people who are underemployed. How would you feel if you were the best dancer in school, yet you’re selected to play the tambourine instead of selected as a majorette? That’s almost what it’s like to be underemployed.

So, as we approach the summer break and teens across the country begin applying for summer jobs, I want to share a few lessons that can be learned from the brashness and stupidity I displayed prior to and during my interview.

Lesson 1. Give yourself some “just in case something happens” time.

When reading the second paragraph of this post, did you ever wonder why I was being so exact with the time? The time is branded into my memory because I was 15 minutes late for my interview. Being on time is rule #1 when preparing for interviews and I understood this 16 years ago when I applied for my first job. Unfortunately, there was a massive concoction of failure that added to my tardiness, but it’s still my responsibility to allot enough “just in case something happens” time so that I am punctual for my first impression. Just like we save money for those “just in case” moments, plan on giving yourself “just in case” time when preparing for an interview. Normally 15-30 minutes is sufficient depending on where you live. Yesterday I sure needed fifteen. smh

Lesson 2. Who you talking to?

Have you ever gotten a little sassy with your mom and she hits you with the “who you talking to” response? Think of mom the next time you are preparing for your interview. Not because your interviewer “brought you into this world so they’ll take you out”, but because it’s important to understand the position, personality and temperament of the person that’s interviewing you. The person conducting my interview, was the person that I would be reporting to if I was awarded the job. He wasn’t a big personality guy. He was very mild mannered. He didn’t seem to be into a lot of small talk (maybe because we were short 15 minutes.) But, I’m sort of the opposite. I view the interview as my time to shine (because it is). I want the interviewer to know that I am confident in my skills and abilities and I have no problem verbalizing that. Problem is – and this I can’t prove – I think I may have been too enthusiastic and maybe too ambitious for him. I don’t believe in being someone you are not, but I do believe there were some nonverbal cues from the interviewer that were indications for me to tone it down a bit.

3. Be Yourself

Your personality is just as important to your viability for a new job as your experience and skills. Let the hiring manager know who they maybe hiring during the interview. You want a company to accept you for who you are. Now, I’m not condoning the neck tattoo or wearing purple lipstick to the interview. However, I am condoning the vibrant personality associated with the person that wears purple lipstick on the weekends.

4. Watch Your Mouth!

The interview is a time for you to sell yourself, sell your skills, sell your strengths and sell your experiences. I think I sold myself straight down the river. I sold myself, I sold my skills, I sold my strengths and I sold my experiences. I should have stopped there. I went ahead and sold my ambition too. Now in some circumstances this can be perceived as an asset to the interviewer. But you have to be conscience of “who you talking to”? The guy who was interviewing me had recently lost 3 members of his team. He had only been in his role for 5 months. So the last thing he needed to hear from me was how this position would help further my career. It’s important to know when to hit the brakes. If that job was at an intersection, I cruised straight through the red light.

There isn’t an exact science to perfecting every interview. Truth is you could follow every lesson in this article and still not land the next gig you interview for. But as you’ve learned in some of my other posts, perseverance is a key ingredient to success in life and just because you’ve
heard 2 no’s doesn’t mean your next interview won’t end in a yes.


Meet Courtney Hale!


Feature, Latest | by — September 16, 2013

Tags: ,

Wish you had advice on how to not have barely $2 left from your allowance or part time job each week? Or better yet find out how your pockets & bank account can be full by the time you enter the real world? Courtney Hale to the rescue!

Hailing from Nashville, TN, Courtney graduated with Bachelors of Business Administration in Economics and Finance from Tennessee State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Lipscomb University. He went on to create his empowering organization of The Knowledge Bank.

The Knowledge Bank offers a multifaceted workshop series for youth 13-18 years old, centered on financial education, financial exposure and healthy practices. Courtney is also one of C.O.R.E Mag’s amazing finance contributors.

Let’s get to know Courtney a little better…

When did you first launch The Knowledge Bank?
I had carried around the idea of a starting a financial literacy program for 4 years before I actually launched Knowledge Bank in 2012. I ran the concept across my smart friends for a couple years and eventually heard “you’re on to something” so many times that I had to put my thoughts into action.
How & why was the idea of The Knowledge Bank developed and what is the mission behind the movement?
I believe each person has a daily routine that is representative of who they are. The things we eat, our sense of style, the music we listen to, where we live and all the things we entertain embody who we are. That’s all the everyday stuff. However, I believe our character is defined by how we respond during infrequent and uncommon occurences. Five years ago, I experienced some infrequent and uncommon occurrences that would, not only put my character to test, but also become the foundation for why the Knowledge Bank was created.
Around 2008 I heard two pretty depressing stories. In the first story, a client of my mentor had inherrited somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million, only to be completely broke a little over a year later. The second story involved a woman who had won the lottery, only to have the bank foreclose on her home a little over a year later. I had always wondered what made people make such catastrophic financial decisions? Didn’t they know any better? The fact is they didn’t know any better. No one had ever taught them the importance of budgeting or living below their means. Shortly after hearing these stories, newspaper and tv headlines were plastered with words like “financial crisis”, “foreclosure”, “layoffs” and “recession”. Many experts blamed the financial crisis on greedy financial institutions who had issued bad loans and over valued property. I believed financially illiterate consumers who had signed for loans they didn’t understand should share in some of the blame.
So there I was, mentally in the middle of one of these infrequent and uncommon occurrences. Should I be an unconcerned passer-byer, equipped with the education, skills and talent to persevere in the mist of these dysfunctional values and economic volatility? Or do I use my education and experience to keep this type of history from repeating itself? I chose the latter. So now I educate the next generation on how to develop healthy financial values to avoid the mistakes that plagued generations before them.
Share with the C.O.R.E Readers some of the activities that your organization has done in the past and any future events?
This summer was pretty exciting. We concluded our second summer workshop series. The highlight of the summer was Savings Account Day where the kids deposited a total of $250 into their savings accounts. We hosted several workshops for different community organizations, summer programs and churches.We were also given the opportunity to offer our program through the Nashville Educaiton Commission, giving parents another opportunity to introduce their kids to the world of personal finance. We have a couple pretty big partnerships in the works that I cannot mention yet, but expect bigger things this fall.
We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?
First, my wife Tia is a huge inspiration in my life. She may be the toughest person I know male or female. She never backs down from a challenge, no obstacle is too big for her and she believes she can accomplish anything. A woman like that, who looks as good as she does, makes a man want to be better, even when you’re already good.
The second person who inspires me is one of my line brothers, Isaac Addae. Isaac is the epitome of all the virtues that our parents want us to possess. He’s the type of guy that could be President of the United States, dealing with pressing world issues, but will take your call in the oval office to answer questions about the best app for data storage back up. There is a saying, “Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.” If that’s the case, Isaac is my pace setter.
Lastly, all my friends inspire me. I do not have any friends who are not committed to being better at life. I believe you are the average of all your friends, therefore I had to find friends that would push me to be better than average. Remember iron sharpens iron.
If you had to give 3 pieces of advice to teens when it comes to dealing with money, what would they be?
1. Love yourself. The root of many bad financial decisions is the pursuit of happiness through things. Will Smith said, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” Clothes, cars, instagram followers and money do not make you, but it’s imperative to figure out what does.
2. Start career planning now. Knowledge Bank has 4 core values: Work, Budget, Save and Give. Without “Work” the other core values aren’t possible. The biggest mistake 99.9% of students are making when determining their career path is waiting too late. The job market is more competitive now than it has every been. The faster a student can identify what they want to do with their professional life, the sooner they can work on developing the skills necessary to thrive in that career.The second largest mistake students are making is assuming they have to work for someone else, but I’ll save that for a different interview.
3. Don’t spend all of your money. As an adult, it is imperative to develop a systematic approach to saving. The earlier we can develop the habit of saving, the better.
C.O.R.E Mag is all about Empowerment. What does empowerment mean to you?
When I see the word empowerment I think about making someone better. In the book “Letters to a Young Brother”, Hill Harper makes the analogy that young people are to new model vehicles, while older people are the older models of the same vehicle. When I think about empowering others, I see myself working on an assembly line building this person to be stronger, faster, more agile and better looking than me.
Where do you see The Knowledge Bank in 5 years?
In 5 years I see Knowledge Bank being more of a culture than an organization. I’ve thrown around ideas of a tshirt line and sponsoring professional athletes to endorse our mission, so maybe I can execute those ideas in the next five years. I want Knowledge Bank to be the brand associated with financial literacy in Middle Tennessee, providing enrichment opportunities for all Middle Tennessee students.I would also like to sell our curriculum in kits similar to what Dave Ramesy has done with Financial Peace University. And maybe branch out to have Knowledge Bank (fill in the blank with the city of your choice).
Fun Faves- Music artist? Food? Song? Favorite Music: All things Jay Z and the occasional backpack rapper like Drake, J.Cole or Kendrick Lamar (although I don’t think he is categorized as a backpacker)
Favorite Food: Eggs!!! I love eggs in all its many forms; scrambled, quiche, fritter, omelette, with steak, on a burger. I’m sure you get it by now.
Celeb Crush? The easy answer is Beyonce. But to be different I would say the character Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) on the show Suits aired on the USA network. The only thing sexier than a black, female, managing partner of the largest law firm in NYC is my wife (she made me say that.)
Quote? “Nothing wrong wit my aim, just had to change my target.” – Jay Z
Check out more about Courtney here..