Book of Experts: Comerce Club confidence, ambition, exposure.

AuthorTucker, Alexander

By Alexander Tucker, Director of Membership, Commerce Club

It takes years to hone your skills for networking; it takes practice and persistence. I began networking at an early age I like to think in high school.

Raised in the rural town of Union, I knew I could not rely on opportunities to present themselves; I would have to bring them to me. I began to seek out ways to gain exposure as a young man.

My first introduction to real networking at a professional level was Palmetto Boys State. This program is designed to highlight natural leaders and exposes them to the inner workings of government. It was here that I realized the power of a good connection.

After that experience, I felt poised to handle my own recruitment for a football scholarship, navigating a tight system and showing up again and again. This was a successful endeavor that led to my attending the prestigious Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, N.C., where I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with my eyes set on becoming a dentist.

Following university, I had multiple opportunities to pursue a dental career, but I felt called to explore other fields. I took a corporate job as a pharmaceutical chemist, and while getting acclimated to corporate life I began joining networking organizations.

In 2017, my network allowed me access into a global position with the American Society of Quality. I was asked to serve as assistant chairman for the 2017 ASQ World Conference for Quality and Continuous Improvement, in which my team set a new standard of excellence.

Following the conference, ASQ then recruited me as deputy chair for the next generation of quality professionals under the Quality Management Division. This position allowed me to travel the world, and gave me the opportunity to speak in Canada and India.

By building my networking empire, I was offered my first sales role as chief sales officer for Xstream Leadership Group, an executive development firm. Through exposure to top managers and successful C-suite executives, I learned the ins and outs of entrepreneurship and gained the confidence to launch my first business, a small business consulting firm called Creation and Innovation Studios.

Creation and Innovation Studios then helped me open my first brick- and-mortar endeavor, an alteration and tailoring shop called Ester's Alterations, named after my great-grandmother, Ester. The business has now been going strong for five years, with my grandmother Joyce...

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