Becoming a Hero: The Power of Connection

Everyone has a superpower, and Benita Tyler has always known hers. Her journey at Indiana Wesleyan University helped refine it.

By: Bailey Gerber & Jake Hreha

Everyone has a superpower, and Benita Tyler has always known hers. Her journey at Indiana Wesleyan University helped refine it.

The Ability to Connect With People

“I have this innate ability to connect with people,” Tyler says. “I love getting to know people’s stories and helping them live louder and braver. It doesn’t matter if they’re teens, college students, people in their 40s – I can build relationships with anyone. It’s why I decided to go back to school and get my Master of Business Administration from IWU.”

Whether it's a friend or someone you meet for the first time, everyone needs support and people around them. Building genuine connections is important for our well being. We can lift one another up when we deal with low self esteem, have struggles with physical health or emotional health, or are just in need of a friend.

To begin building connections you have to show a genuine interest in the person you want to connect with. Invite them to share a meal or grab coffee together. These social interactions are the perfect opportunity to build deeper connections. Ask them questions about things they care about. It could be about their family members, their interests, their work, or many other topics. Our interpersonal relationships develop when we build a deeper connection.

This practice of building human relationships is a great opportunity to practice your social skills. These skills can be used for networking, building friendships, and fostering community. Developing social connections and building your communication skills is great for both your professional development and your well being. We need human connection in our personal life and work life, so finding ways to build healthy relationships in all areas is important.

Tyler started college at San Diego State University, but she put her degree on hold because of her job at the San Diego Zoo. “I really prioritized my job over college,” Tyler remembers. “But years later, my husband and I moved to Indiana because he wanted to work for Chrysler.”

The move to Indiana opened new doors for Tyler and her family. Chrysler offered tuition assistance for college, which enabled Tyler to get her associate degree, then a bachelor’s degree. “I was working on the line at Chrysler, but I knew I could be doing more,” she says. “I always wanted to be in a more people-oriented position, like human resources. I decided to get my MBA at Indiana Wesleyan University."

With her MBA completed, Tyler had the credentials to pursue roles that would allow her to connect with people more – something she’d always been passionate about. She got a job at the Department of Child Services as a Peer Coach Consultant. “I got to work with family case managers, training them on working with families and teaching them how to facilitate meetings,” says Tyler. Working at DCS was Tyler’s first step toward her ultimate career goal in human resources.

“After a few years at DCS, I decided I wanted to be more intentional about getting into an HR position,” says Tyler. “My husband and I are going to retire in the next 10 years, and I want to spend the end of my career doing something I really love.”

Continuing to Build Meaningful Relationships

In 2021, Tyler applied for a recruitment position with the Bowen Center, and it was a perfect fit for her skillset. The Bowen Center provides support and mental health services. “In this role, I get to work with all kinds of people,” Tyler says. “I make personal connections with our community partners, meet with high school and college students to get them set up with internships at the Bowen Center, work with HR to do onboarding for employees, and meet with our directors and leaders to make engagement plans. I love getting to do so many different things.”

Today, Tyler is an everyday hero. Her dynamic position enables her to use her skills to build relationships, develop partnerships, and inspire people in their careers, and it all started with her deep desire to connect with others.

Do you have a superpower that motivates you to do more? You know why you want to take your next steps – but if you’re not sure how, find a program that will set you on the right track.

Bailey Gerber

Content Creator, IWU National and Global

Bailey Gerber is a vocabulary geek and grammar enthusiast at IWU – National and Global, so she spends most of her time reviewing webpages, video scripts, flyers, and – of course – blog articles. She loves all things involving words, and in her spare time you’ll find her buried in a book (probably with a cup of coffee in hand).

Jake Hreha

SEO Copywriter, IWU

Jake Hreha is a graduate of Ball State University, where he majored in advertising with a concentration in media presentation and design. He is passionate about design, and in his free time he enjoys cycling, traveling, and reading.

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