Chad A. Robinson, 2014 accounting graduate, brought home the first national Collegiate of the Year award to St. Cloud earlier this month at a national Delta Sigma Pi event.
“It was a very emotional experience, I was very, very excited to get up there,” Robinson said. “When I got up there, I just spoke from the heart.”
Freshly graduated, Robinson is looking forward onto his future, but also to the future of the organization. He said that he intends to retain strong ties to the chapter, especially since he’ll serve a two-year term on the Delta Sigma Pi Board of Directors.
“The beauty of what the program is it allows a board that could be comprised of people that have been graduated for over 10 years, but…they have two Collegiate of the Year [winners] at the board at any given time is to have that voice of the collegiate there,” he said. “We represent from a different lens.”
Robinson is giving an address for an event in Chicago from Aug. 12 to 16. He said the addresses are up to the speaker, but addresses in the past have been pertaining to what inspired the Collegian of the Year to reach that point or goals for the future.
As Collegian of the Year, one of Robinson’s goals is to create a breakout session and present it at one of the national events.
“I’ve presented twice, once as a collegiate and once as an alumni, and that was most recently when I got my award, but both times I’ve presented somebody else’s presentation,” he said. “If you create it yourself, it takes it to another level.”
He wants to create a session that brings members through the processes of getting a job and interviewing for promotions.
For the time being, Robinson plans to stay local and work at this his family’s dealership in St. Cloud. Robinson’s family has a history with car dealerships.
He said that this parents met while working together at his uncle’s dealership. And, when it came to picking out baby names, he said that they chose according by giving him the initials C.A.R.
“I don’t want to say it’s destiny but that’s what I’m working toward right now,” he said. “I’m learning as much as I can as fast as I can. I want to continue to set the bar higher for myself.”
Looking onward to what the future brings, Robinson said that “it’s a great feeling, and with that comes knowledge that there’s going to be a lot of hard work, and I’m really excited for it, and I really hope that we can have a second or a third [collegian of the year],” he said.
Robinson urges members to go to the national events, because they simply may not be getting the full experience that comes with the organization.
“One of the best things about this organization is going to the national event, because you see the organization on whole other level,” he said. “You’re expanding your network exponentially more.”
“Taking the organization on the road to the national events, members are able to connect with people from all over the state, the nation and the world, for that matter,” he said.
During his first time at Grand Chapter in Louisville, Ken., he said that he made a “close-knit” circle of friends from different regions of the country.
“I found a really good group of people within this organization.”
He said that “[he and] friends would joke about how it would be so cool to win the Collegian of the Year, because of what it symbolizes and the work that it takes to get there.”
Robinson pledged as a second-semester freshman, when he was first starting with the organization, he said that he was the youngest of the group, pledging as a second-semester freshman.
First coming into SCSU, admitted to the Honors Program, Robinson started out with the speech and debate team, but the, after pledging, he found himself dedicating more and more time to the organization.
Between traveling on weekends and keeping up with school work, Robinson was forced to pick and choose where he dedicated his time too.
He left the speech and debate team, only to become a college senator with the encouragement of a graduating member of the organization, and within the same time frame, he also joined Collegiate DECA.
After only one semester as a college senator, Robinson moved up onto the Executive Committee as the legislative affairs chair.
“I got advanced a bit quicker than what I expected, but I embraced the added responsibility,” he said. “I really enjoyed the committee that I had worked on, it worked out good.”
Though, during his time with Delta Sigma Pi, Robinson had the opportunity to attend many national leadership events where members were able to attend keynote speakers and breakout sessions, along with banquets and award ceremonies.
“It’s humbling, because, really, [it was] the support group that I had,” he said, attributing a big part of his success to his parents allowed him to travel to the national events.
He advises future members to “keep an open mind and remain excited,” because by attending the events, it really helps to make new contacts and establish new bridges.
“It’s a lot of fun, because really that’s our future,” he said. “Without the pledges, there is no future. I have to be excited for them, because it’s infectious, excitement is.”
“One of our unofficial mottos is that ‘It’s not for four years, it’s for life,’” he said. “When I went to Grand Chapter for the first time, that hit a home run for me.”
“I’ll maintain definite involvement in this organization, because of the people.”