Harold Pettigrew discusses how meeting with the NC State University Board of Trustees as the Student Body President prepared him for his future. Interview on November 2, 2012. (2:28)

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So, the most critical thing that came out of my experience at State, at twenty-seven I was chief of staff; 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:09.552
at thirty I was a licensing administrator; and now at thirty-three-I started at thirty-two-as director for Small Business Development. 00:00:09.552 - 00:00:22.290
I serve on the mayor's cabinet. I think conclusively I'm the youngest cabinet member. The experience at State, 00:00:22.290 - 00:00:33.036
specifically through the student leadership involvement, I think was the biggest preparation for what I'm doing right now. 00:00:33.036 - 00:00:41.016
To be able to be a member of the board of trustees at the time, knowing that I'm sitting around the table with some 00:00:41.016 - 00:00:46.748
of the richest and most influential people in the state and that as a student, and as every student who serves on the board of trustees, 00:00:46.748 - 00:00:59.028
you have to come and represent not only yourself but the campus community in such a way where you're not certainly making a fool of yourself, 00:00:59.028 - 00:01:10.637
you're not presenting just student passionate arguments, but that you're presenting rational perspectives, that you're well read, that you're informed, 00:01:10.637 - 00:01:19.791
and quite frankly can speak at the level and caliber that the rest of the trustees are able to. That was an early experience 00:01:19.791 - 00:01:30.194
that I think has almost subconsciously prepared me for the very wonderful opportunities I've had in Washington, DC, certainly with maturity, 00:01:30.194 - 00:01:45.476
being able to sit at the table and have very great discussions with, like I said, some of the most influential and richest folks at the time in the state. 00:01:45.476 - 00:01:54.414
That was the biggest thing, really expanding my perspective and deepening my maturity to be able to have that type of involvement, 00:01:54.414 - 00:02:05.969
which has translated into much of the involvement I have now with cabinet members, the mayor, and everybody else who are twice my age. 00:02:05.969 - 00:02:20.120

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