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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Take the dare – The open secrets of my success

Hilary Corna had a bleak childhood. Losing her father in a car accident when she was just 8 months old, her mother faced many challenges raising her and her four siblings. She recalled wearing pajamas to school because she didn’t have any clean clothes to wear. The rest of her life, however, would prove to be a story of success.

After another organization attempted to bring the latest speaker, Hilary Corna, to campus, they were unsuccessful. That’s when Platform Personalities “swooped and scooped” her, according to Ben Harris, President of Platform Personalities. Bringing the speaker to Northern was paid for by that chapter and the student activity

The title of her speech was “Dare Yourself to Eat the Eyeball:  How to Be a Global Leader,” based primarily on the time she spent in Asia as a former Toyota Asia Executive. Drawing from an experience in which a top executive dared her to eat the eyeball of a fish, she drew off of many experiences and shared them with the group. The speech took place last Wednesday, April 6th in the Great Lakes Rooms in the University Center on campus.

Corna is now based out of Austin, Texas, and has recently been credited with writing an autobiography titled “One White Face,” which has been reviewed by The New York Times and Forbes.

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Corna started out by asking everyone in the crowd who would be bold enough to join her onstage, as she was looking for a volunteer. A very slim number of people stepped forward and she challenged the group by asking why. She went into how important it is to have self confidence, and asked if there were a bag with $100.00, would more people have stepped forward. I, like most others in the group, nodded in agreement.

She went through a series of personal dares that she’d taken throughout her life-ones she set for herself, when others who loved her suggested she not even try.

She explained that post college-graduation from North Carolina’s Elon University, she packed up a suitcase and $2,000 and flew to Singapore. While there, she was offered an internship, which she turned down for a boy. She talked about why that was difficult and why that ultimately led to her returning to Singapore. While there again, she was hired as an executive that would go into auto dealerships throughout Asia, looking to achieve global domination in her field.

Corna explained the importance of setting goals for yourself, by daring yourself to do things you’ve never dreamed of. She pointed out all of the obstacles that she both faced and overcame.

Race, age, gender and experience were just a few of the areas that she spoke of. She had to, at one point, cut her long, blonde hair while in Asia in order to be accepted and respected in her field.

“We can’t be fed ideas as a whole,” Corna stated.  “We need to chew on them.”

She cited different examples of where she worked for mentors, and other times she worked with people who didn’t share her passion for learning, people she cited that she learned just as much from. That was inevitably why she left Toyota Asia in search of bigger things, like writing a book. She said that not always will people share your vision, and when that stopped happening, she looked for employment elsewhere.

The 30 year old soft spoken author left a mark with the guests of her speech, like Emily Quinn, a junior  graphic communications.

“I thought Hilary was really good. I liked her advice on daring yourself…that it’s good to push yourself and not hold back,” Quinn said.

“You don’t realize how many things you’re not doing until people ask you why you’re not doing it, like writing a book,” said Genna McKenna, senior in Community Health Education. “This speech helped to point that out,” McKenna said.

Following her speech, there were a few older people in the group, to which Corna singled them out by asking them if they had any advice for anyone there. They reiterated her advice about thinking about the long term, even though short-term thinking may be easier.

Hilary Corna’s book “One White Face” is now available for sale at the bookstore, as well as most bookstores and online. She is currently traveling on a college campus tour across country.

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