“You have to know what you want,” intones Clarence Moore, assistant director of Career Management and Employer Engagement. As a career coach, this is some of his most common advice. “Students often come to me for input, but I remind them the advice is different based on your goals. The first thing you have to do is commit.”
Clarence would know. He made the decision to move to Arizona, despite not having a job lined up, and left his home in Illinois just two days after breaking the news to his family. “There was no opportunity waiting for me. It was literally ‘I'm gonna make this work. I gotta find a way to make this work.’ And that's what I did.” He says it was the most daring thing he’s ever done, and also something that helps him connect with his students.
“I work with the Professional Flex and online MBA students, so these are people who are juggling working full time, maybe families, in addition to school,” Clarence explains. “They are taking a risk in order to improve themselves. I respect that risk.” Clarence’s favorite part of his job is guiding students to find strategic ways to be successful. He used to work in Human Resources, and had to tell a lot of prospective employees no. Now, he loves helping students get a yes. “I didn’t have a career coach when I was getting my MBA,” Clarence shares, “so I didn’t get this kind of personalized help. I never want our students to feel how I felt.”
With that, Clarence also makes sure that students know he is there to guide them, not force them. “I’m not going to stick you with a cattle prod,” he laughs, “you either do it or you don’t, you make the commitment or you don’t.” But it isn’t all tough love. Clarence stays late to meet with evening students before their classes start; classical music quietly hums through his office. “Bottom line, I want students to know that I’m going to guide them the best that I can,” he emphasizes.
Who is someone who has made an impact on you at W. P. Carey?
Dr. Reynold Byers teaches in our MBA program, and I try to mirror his approach. I would say he is stern, but in a caring way. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything. He says, “I will walk with you, I'll help and guide you, but you have to put forth some things as well.” I really try to build that same kind of reciprocity with the students I coach.
What is something you are proud of professionally?
That’s a good question… I would say that even after all these years of working in Human Resources and Human Services, that I still have passion for my job. It is really busy and sometimes trying, but I still come in every day and have a hunger to improve both myself and help others improve themselves. I’m proud of that.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would say back to South Africa. I went in the ‘90s and back then, there were two demographics in South Africa: the haves and the have-nots. The have nots hit me to where it made me appreciate the things that I did have. It made me appreciate life. But I think being there and seeing and experiencing what I experienced, that would be the number one place I would ever want to travel. I’ll get there.
What’s something you enjoy outside of work?
Funnily enough, I like to listen to webinars, TED Talks, YouTube vidoes. Pretty much anything where I can learn something new or think about something in a different way. I like to explore things I haven’t been exposed to before.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Wow. I think the superpower of motivation. I have lost count of the number of students who have come to me after losing a job or their organization was acquired or whatever, and they are defeated. They don’t see a way forward. I think being able to kind of ease the waters and calm some things, and get individuals refocused to say “All right we've had a hiccup. Let's get back in the game and let's go.” I think that would be the number one superpower I would love to have.
What’s something your hometown is known for?
I’m from Springfield, Illinois and we have something called a “horseshoe.” It’s also known as a heart attack on a plate. It's basically two pieces of Texas toast, two hamburger patties, the crinkle-cut fries, and then it's white cheese sauce dumped all over it. That’s something I always mention if people are going to visit.
Salty or sweet? Sweet
Coffee or tea? Neither
Cat or dog? Cat
Board games or video games? Video games
Book or movie? 50/50
Mac or PC? PC
Morning person or night owl? Night owl
Hot or cold? I come from cold, so I have to say hot
On time or late? On time.