Upon doing a simple Google search of “why not”, a music video for Hilary Duff’s 2003 hit song appears. However, when I “Google search” my mind, Dr. Judy Turk appears on my mental Web page.
As my mentor, Dr. Turk has given me professional insight, incredible contacts and beneficial information on my future in public relations. I don’t think she realizes what has been the most impressionable for me is her ‘why not?’ mentality.
Life constantly forces you to make small and big decisions, such as what size latte to get from Starbucks in the morning, whether to get guacamole on your Chipotle order, or what to do with your life after college.
Each decision is important in its own right, but some are more terrifying than others. College is meant to prepare you for the harsh deadlines, for the late nights and the major assignments your future career holds. What it doesn’t always prepare you for are the tough decisions or the major risks that will come as a professional.
Such decision-making is where Dr. Turk’s ‘why not’ mentality can be used. Think about the decision at hand, then ask yourself, “Why not do this? Why not take this chance?” If no significant answer to these questions emerges, then it may be a chance worth taking.
Dr. Turk has held respectable positions at Kent University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Oklahoma, Louisiana State University, Syracuse University and Virginia Commonwealth University. One of her most astounding accomplishments was serving as a founding dean of the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates.
Dr. Turk lived overseas for two and a half years before returning to the states. During that time, she assisted women of different cultures with pursuing their own careers.
When speaking about her decision to take the risk and move to a different country, she exudes her ‘why not’ mentality.
First she asked, “What if it didn’t go as planned? What if things didn’t work out?” Then she would find something else to think about and move on. Everything is a learning experience, and sometimes we must take chances in order to learn.
In a world where consistency and stability are constantly praised, Dr. Turk shined the light on adventure and opportunity. When parents are stressing security and discretion, Dr. Turk praises experience and independence.
If not her résumé, Dr. Turk’s mindset truly exemplifies the idea of living life to the fullest and not confining our own futures, especially because of someone else’s concerns. When the next big opportunity in your life or career comes your way, I encourage you to take the opportunity and run with it. After all, why not?
-by Alex Christopher, PRSSA General Member