Coach Talks: Chance Moments & Career Memories

Coach Talks: Chance Moments & Career Memories

By: Stephen Kaita
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I define chance moments as things that just happen and are out of your control. Chance moments can either be positive or negative. If you have a chance moment in front of you, please analyze what the repercussion of the choice you make. I’m being realistic, it’s a risk. My first chance moment allowed me to quit the grocery store position I had for four years. I had seniority in the position with some benefits, however, leaving that position was worth it in the end.


Chance Moment #1 – Change of Pace

Here’s a conversation I had with a friend one year ago at Beedie Field:

Stephen: “What are you doing for the summer?”
Friend: “I’m working at boxing matches and horse shows. What are you doing this summer?”
Stephen: “I’m returning to my grocery store job and looking for a second job. I’ve been at the grocery store for the past four years, and it’s time for a change of pace.”

“Change of pace” was the key phrase that my friend noticed. He got me connected with one of our bosses to tryout as an equestrian show announcer. One month later, I was hired and left my grocery store position. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is the start of a good friendship and how I got to be an announcer. (P.S. Those who trained me, I appreciate your dedication and support along the process. Thanks again.)

From gaining the confidence on the microphone, I was able to transfer the experience back to SFU. But when returning, I was not expecting this next moment.


Chance Moment #2 – A Great Fit

Here is an email conversation with my events staff boss:

“Hey Stephen, […] I was wondering if after promos at football you could announce the soccer games back on campus. [… In addition] There’s a position that I wanted to offer you first as I think it you would be a great fit. I’m looking for someone to come in and be the Promotions & Mini-Game Coordinator.  […]

Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in. If you’re undecided, we can meet up and I can give you more details. Thanks for your continued hard work, it is not going unnoticed.” – My boss

And that my friends, is start of another friendship, and how I got to be the Promotions & Mini-Game Coordinator.

I’m going to say that there was some overlap with my volunteer role and my work position as it had a heavy connection to the Student Ambassador Program and Co-Curricular Record. But this time, at one of my meetings last January 2014, as we were talking about the Co-Curricular Record, this was brought up. Here’s the moment.


Chance Moment #3 – Coaches Coaching Coaches

Here is the context:

First year, I wanted to learn everything I can about career exploration, resumes, cover letters, interview tips, networking and mentorship. And I got that. In the second year of the program, I wanted to transfer my high school wrestling coach skills to peer coaching. Bringing in that experience and my other professional/personal experiences, I was able to effectively coach. Returning peers, I want you to apply.

By the end of this year, I thought about leaving because I’ve learned everything I wanted, until I heard about the role of Senior Peer Coach.

When I heard this, I was thinking, this is the position for me, and I would learn a lot. The motto that I like to call it is “coaches coaching coaches.” Sounds bizarre but that’s what the role is all about. I’d be teaching coaches how to coach and mentor them along the way.


What is the Lesson?

One year ago, I would have never thought that the smallest of emails, conversations, or meetings could change a person’s life like that. I’ve been fortunate to meet some of these people whom I now like to call mentors and friends. Very few people inspire me to be the best. I had a high school wrestling coach who would tell me to “Keep Driving Forward.” I’m thankful for his mentorship, and I can say that meeting him was a chance moment seven years ago. My mentors will always have a special place with me.

If you have a chance moment, try noticing it. They may be out of you control, but if you have the opportunity, perhaps take the leap of faith and grab it. I’m grateful that I’ve learned this lesson from peer education and career services.


Thank You & Farewell

And here it is. If the role of Senior Peer Coach is introduced and I get it, I will be leaving my position as a Career Peer Educator & Coach. Although I love advising students, learning about networking skills, and meeting some amazing people along the way, my passion to teach will always be at the top. Coaching is in my blood, and I’ve been doing it since my first year. I want to learn new coaching methods and would happily apply them to my future coaching roles.

For my direct supervisor at Career Services, I would like to thank you for all of your support in the last two years. I’ve gained experiences that have made me excel in my life, and I’m grateful that you were a part of it. I will be around because I would like to interact with the future career peers and coaches, but it will be different, in a good way. You’ve inspired me to be the best. I’m glad to have met you. Best Regards.

For my mentor at Volunteer Services, I would like to thank you for all your help along the way. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Don’t worry, I want to be back for “What can YOUth Do?” Working with kids is one of my true passions. Broadcasting is another (that’s another story). Coaching is the third. Thanks for helping me realize the true meaning of chance moments. Take care.


My Final Thoughts

This isn’t the end of my coach talks series, but it is a new beginning. Because of chance moments I’ve been more thankful of life and what life has to bring for me. Coach Talks allows me to evaluate the opportunities ahead. More entries to come Fall 2015, but for now, I will be taking a break from school. During that time, I’ll have more stories to write about.

Here are two things that I recommend:

Write for the Engage blog. I was able to keep my Coach Talks series alive because of Volunteer Services’ hard work and dedication. You will work with some amazing people. If you are writer, try it out.

If you would like to see what chance moments are, become a Career Peer Educator. It’s not just what learn in the meetings or training sessions, but it’s how you apply what you’ve learned in your life. For other postings of peer programs, check out myInvolvement.


Be an educator. It’s worth it. And if you have read this article, and you become one in the 2015-2016 year, come talk to me when you have the chance or tweet me a message (@skaita16)

I want thank you for reading my story of chance moments in Coach Talks.

Posted on April 08, 2015