What’s in your elevator?

A classic college ritual for business degrees such as hospitality management is introducing students to the “elevator speech.” In one class, workshop or some official activity, we’ll ask students to prepare one. You remember it as that 7-se­­­cond self-introduction readied for when­­ serendipity thrusts someone of potential consequence to your career in the same locked box of an elevator with you.

In our doctoral program, during which we train the next generation of scholars and college educators, we ask our graduate students to do several elevator speeches, including one focused on their research in addition to the traditional professional introduction of this exercise.

And boy, have elevators changed. Hotel lifts today are sometimes full of entertainment, video monitors with breaking news, or digital art displays. But then again, it’s not really about the elevator.  

However, do we ever think of updating our “elevator speech” as our careers progress? Do you have one prepared that reflects who you are today?