• Jerrid P. Kalakay

Episode 49 - What is a Successful Life with Student Guests

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

On today's episode, we visit Professor Claudine Tomlinson-Burney's Radio and Podcasting Class at Valencia College to explore the question of a successful life.  The student guests on today's show Felice Mathie, Tim Hetz, and Makenna Waller, are all students in the radio and podcasting class.  Felice, Tim, and Makenna engage Jerrid in a conversation on what success looks like in their lives and share a bit about their current journeys.   

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Makenna's Website

Instagram for Makenna @kennawaller


Jerrid Kalakay 0:09

Welcome to the Teaching Change podcast where we exploit she's a Social Entrepreneurship, education, and innovation. I'm your host Jerrid Kalakay. On today's episode, we actually have some very special guests from Valencia College, Claudine Thomas, and Bernie has a class on radio and podcasting listeners, you'll remember that we've had two other episodes, one exploring the purpose and one exploring passion with this very class. And so this episode, we get to revisit the class, different students, but still just as wonderful. And so today we're joined by Felice, Tim, and MaKenna, and I'll have them introduce themselves in a moment. And we're going to be talking about what it means to live a successful life, or what does success mean. So, Felice, do you want to start out by sharing your name and who you are and why are you on a radio and podcasting class? Hello, hello. Hello. Thanks for having me. My name

Felice Mathie 1:00

Felice Mathie And it's a pleasure to be here today. I appreciate it. My name comes from my mother being drunk. Yes. When she was given birth, she named me, Felice. Freaky, Matthew. Now I hope you have a very special feeling because not too many people know my middle name. But I bring my name together because up until like, my late 20s I really didn't like it. Well, if you put Felice means happy, Mathie means gift to God. So put together it's happy gift of God. And it wasn't because it wasn't until I became a Christian that I really enjoy the significance to that name. And that leads me to what I believe my purpose in what I do. And what would make me successful feel successful in life would be and this is a two-part answer. And I'll keep it short, the short as I possibly can. First part is I am a Christian. So to me to live a successful life would be living as close as I can without perfection, of course, as the life of Jesus Christ and what he teaches

The second part would make me feel successful as if I did the vision of why I accomplished the vision. I was accomplishing the vision and purpose that he asked for me, which I believe is to help spouses and spouses to communicate more effectively. And their marriage or their marriage to be based on the Bible that I have. I believe that's my purpose. So that would be my short way of answering that question. Alright. Alright. Cool. And we'll dive more into all that in a moment. I will say. That's a fantastic story. Except for the part that your mother was drunk when she was giving birth to you. I mean, think about the name police, right. Everybody has a name or how they will call it right. I guarantee no one's unfortunate the following. You know, variations. I was called Felice Felicia fleas for lice. flee from me. I mean, it just goes on and on. That name is my mother had to be drunk. I mean, that's, that's no other. Oh, so so you're assuming she was drunk? Yes. Okay. Okay. All right.

Tim Hetz 3:00

Right, good, good. I was a little worried. But, but that's just an assumption. All right, moving right along, Tim, go ahead, introduce yourself and tell us why in the world are you in a radio podcasting class? My name is Tim. I'm also a Christian. Amen, brother. You may have fun. All right. I'm in podcasting class because I mean, I do enjoy like talk radio and everything. So and it's also a credit class. So to take the credit for the class, so but I do like to talk on do you like to talk and listen to talk radio, so I've always been interested in also doing different voices and singing and stuff like that. So

Makenna Waller 3:36

Okay, awesome. And last, but not least MaKenna. Hi there. I'm MaKenna Waller. I joined radio production because I've actually never really listened to podcasts before this. And I like to listen to the radio but more than getting into Spotify. So just listening to music, but the podcast is there to IC teach lessons and learn about things that maybe you wouldn't already know. And he

hear about advice and interviews of people that have knowledge about things. So just wanting to experience more and open up to more. Very cool, very cool. And so you saw the radio podcasting class in the assume the catalog of Valencia and you said, You know what, I'll, I'll go give it a go. Yes, it was actually an elective for me. So it was like an extra class that I can add wasn't necessarily in my major, but I was like, might as well try something that's new and open to me. Very cool. Very cool. Alright, so unlike our normal guests on the show, who have a background or doing work in Social Entrepreneurship, or innovation work, you all are students of podcasting. And so, our topic today we're going to talk about something that you all are well, well suited for. And it's basically what it means to live a successful life or what does success mean for you. As I look at each one of you, you're probably different ages, different, different backgrounds, different ethnicities, etc.

Jerrid Kalakay 5:00

cetera. And so I'd like to dive a little bit into what does it mean for you? If at the end of everything, you look back and you say I lived a successful life? What does that mean right now to you MaKenna, if you don't mind, I'd like to start with you. Sure. So I mean, I think everyone sees success as like having money or having lots of things in our life. But really, I say success is like knowledge. So everyone goes to school and they go to school to figure out what they want to do.

Makenna Waller 5:27

Success can be, yeah, I make a lot of money. But I don't really necessarily have the experiences other people do. But the way I six success is gaining that experience and actually applying those things in your life that you already know that you can be proficient to or advanced to.

The question, yeah, no. And what is your major here of Valencia? Yeah, so my major is new media. It's actually a newer major that just came out. So

Applying social media to your job, such as advertising and expressing the company digitally. So I'm trying to use this and pursue this because I feel like it's such a new field that not many people have experienced this since technology is so big now.

I'd like to apply for that and see where I can go. So hopefully working for a bigger company and being able to advertise for them on social media like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Cool. And do you have profiles currently that you'd like to shout out? I'm not necessarily the profiles that I have been on Instagram that I'm just using for Valencia. Since I haven't really started with the company. It's just my personal profiles. Okay. Cool. I would recommend that you start building a portfolio now. And you start building up those profiles, whether you use personal ones, you create professional MaKenna ones, I really recommend that risk is one of the very first questions that I'm sure your professors will share with you. But one of the very first questions you're going to get in a social media manager interview is is what are your

Jerrid Kalakay 7:00

profiles, what are they you know, and they're going to pull them up and see what your follower counts are and your engagement rates and all that exciting stuff. So my little advice to you would start working on it now because it takes a while to build those up. Um, is there any particular industry you'd like to work in? Is there one I know you you had mentioned something kind of fascinating. A little while ago before we came on that you make shampoo. I don't make sure I'm food. I actually just started a business working for business about four days ago. So I'm brand new to it. Nice. Well, welcome. Welcome to the industry.

Makenna Waller 7:32

It's a health and beauty company. They sell all-natural products that are vegan, free, gluten-free and lots of all this good, natural stuff but they sell these shampoos to help hair growth and make it fresh and happy again that it wants to be as well as they just opened a skincare brand and this September. The brand is five years old, five years new. So not a lot of people know about it, but it's growing like crazy.

So this company, I've been learning a lot as far

The four days that I've just started, but they say reach for your goals and just plan ahead for everything. And it's mostly a ladies group, but there are a couple of men in the group. But they always say reach out, talk to lots of people doesn't matter if you've known them in the past and you don't really talk to them, but just open up to them again and see how they're doing and see how you can help them very cool. And what's the name of the company? It's called mo Nate MONAT. All right, very cool. And Tim, I noticed you have beautiful locks of lovely hair. Tim has spiked hair short on the sides.

Jerrid Kalakay 8:40

I imagine you do not sell shampoo. No. Okay. I might talk to you later though. Yeah, there you go. first sale. Yeah, there you go for four days in your success. So So Tim, tell us a little bit about what brought you to the radio podcasting class and kind of what you hope to do with it and, and then we'll jump off into kind of what your definition of successes

Tim Hetz 9:00

Yeah, the radio in podcasting class, as I said earlier, I just, I always like listening to talk radio. So that's a big thing. I like doing so. And also just talking about different subjects that interest me but also interest others and just like talking to people, so And also, again, it's for credit so it's part of my degree. So it's another reason I took mostly because I do like the industry and what and what degree are you going for? I mean, I'm actually going for video production so nice old media so but this can be part of it as well. So very branded advertising marketing so nice. Nice. And so at the end of you know, when it's all said and done, you look back on your life what do you think would be a successful life?

I think the most important thing is just money and popularity. That's No, I'm just kidding.

Jerrid Kalakay 9:49

Tim, Tim is relatively shallow, no problem. One of the lords of the world thing somebody might I think the biggest success is I think, I'm doing what I think God put me on this earth to do

Tim Hetz 10:00

I have a four and a half-year-old son and a wife and family. So I think that's a big important part of it. But I've also been a personal trainer like over 12 years. So fitness is a big part of that. But I've also been interested in video production. So that's why I go back to school for that. Cool. What's your son's name? Corbin corpsman very own Corbin. Corbin. Very cool. Very cool. Four and a half. That's an exciting age. I have a daughter that's five and a son. That's eight and another son. That's 10. So we got a lot of them. Yes. Yeah. So I've literally got me.

Jerrid Kalakay 10:34

Awesome. Awesome. Very cool. And then and then Felice. Yes. What you kind of mentioned a little bit you know, you're also a man of God, as Tim was mentioning he is what would be a success for you?

Felice Mathie 10:48

Like I mentioned earlier, it twofold to live according to the will of the God who I believe designed the world designed for us the same God who designed the enemy.

And, and the air we breathe, I believe has a design for who, how we should treat each other, and all forms of relationships. So living according to that, to the best of my ability would I would truly find to be successful in this life. And according to that with the mission that I think that he gave me, and I think if everyone looks at their bio, that they have a purpose or a story that could be shared with other people that may help someone else get a little bit further. So those two, that's a two-part answer to what would it be successful to me, okay. All right. And then and then what brought you to the radio podcasting class? Well, before this, I was at launch Technical College doing digital video. And then I found out that they have a new degree and new media communication, specialist. And for the last 19 months, I've been building the brand of helping marriages communicate better in their marriages. And I was already in that space. So I figured by taking this class, which is also a required class for the degree that I learned some more insights that probably take back to a podcast. I used to have

used for my branding purposes to get my story out. Okay, and I noticed you have what looks like a wedding band on is that is that right? So you're married goodness and how long have you been married? It'll be 10 years March 20 Okay. And what gives you the expertise to be kind of a marriage counselor? expert is it? Is it because everything's been sunshine and roses or because of the opposite? Hmm

I have yet to meet a married couple who is awesome Simon roses. Well, I'm often asked this and I usually introduce this, in the same way, introduce my workshop, if I may. Yes, sure. Good. I've never loved another like I love my mother. See, I'm the only child with no sisters or brothers other than the brothers I've been blessed with by other mothers, not love my brothers and many others but all they put together like a feather compared to the love that I have from my mother forever. Now usually start with that as an Ode to My mother and November 28, 1990

Sick, she died of HIV. I literally saw her dying in front of me. I'm sorry to hear that. A few months after that my stepfather was murdered in Haiti. A few months after that, well, several months after that, maybe three or four months after that the last living relative that I knew my grand uncle, he died of diabetes. So at the age of 13, I became a child with no blood relatives, now, talking to psychologists and therapists and everything they say, and in a traumatic situation like that, it usually goes two ways. Either someone has a problem forming a relationship, right? They keep people at bay, they don't want to have any type of close relationship, because of the fear of losing someone else. Or they become obsessed. I became obsessed. So from age 13, I, every person that I could talk to I interviewed, whether it was a couple of I've been married 2030 years or more common back then. Or if it was someone who got divorced, I want to know essentially two things, what made them work, and what made them failed. And the number one problem that I realized was communication.

problems. That was the number one problem in relationships. So from surveys, if you interview people that I've known since middle school, they'll tell you I was a kid walking around with surveys and what's the meaning of love and really making? Yes, I was the, I think I found a couple of notebooks that I kept. But I was that guy. So now all I do is just share with people, you know, the things that I've learned in over 20 years of looking at it closely. And to add to that, nine months after me and my wife got married, she was deported back to our country. Wow, the right and sure visa that she had when she came here expired, and adjust say you have to go back to even apply, you know, so she had to go back. So for the next four years of our marriage, all we had was communication. I saw maybe three times during that time, you do not survive that without two things God and be able to effectively communicate when I saw you got you to know, when you live in with someone, you could allow sleep on the couch, you know, but you know if someone's like thousands of miles away

And communication is your marriage either have to work it out, or you know, get out. So, unfortunately, we chose to work. Yeah, absolutely. I can imagine that that that must be quite a troubling time for you Well, you know, nine months in your you're finally starting to settle into married line and now your wife is being deported. Horrible yeah, so stuff. So did you was the goal always to get her back to the states or were you thinking about going to where where where is she from St. Lucia. Okay, so were you thinking about going there? No, not at all. Okay, yeah. Why is that? Oh no, that's not a place to actually raise a family or to prosper financially. You know, I'm native to Haiti, right? But native is Haiti is probably the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere but St. Lucia is often not talked about because of their tourists and you know the show the bachelor Sutton St. Lucia, but economically it's not anywhere to start.

start a family. And you can imagine how important starting a family would be for me. So, no. So I enter the military paid a whole lot of fees, and the plan was always to get her back here. And she came back ironically, July 4, 2014. Very cool. Very cool. And do you have any children? Not yet. Yeah, we're practicing. Okay.

Tim Hetz 16:22

Well, I'm assuming Well, this is a family show. So we won't go into that. But so So Tim,

Jerrid Kalakay 16:30

kind of hearing your co interviewees and kind of hearing kind of their journey and so forth? What have been some things that you've had to kind of combat or do you foresee combating on your journey to success? I mean, constantly every day there are always struggles here and there and challenges.

Tim Hetz 16:50

is I mean, try not to see what the world they're there. Look outlook on things and what successes and just keep it as I said earlier about my family and

What's going to help us out and as well as helping others along with it along the way? I think that's a big big part of it because I am being a personal trainer I'm always helping people every day so that's a yeah that's one of the main things I like is just helping others and serve others and I think if we all work together and I mean we can sound like Miss Miss America Pageant but we can make the world a better place yeah and and and world peace. Yeah, right. Absolutely. Yeah, I was a little disappointed when police let us know that the bachelor isn't 100% accurate and real never watch the show so Oh, you're missing out on anything? No, I haven't watched it either. But I have relatives and good friends watching religiously. And it is it's exciting, I suppose.

Makenna Waller 17:45

But any rate, Moon right along. MaKenna. What do you think as far as you know, living a successful life You said experiences gaining knowledge.

Jerrid Kalakay 17:56

How what happens after Valencia? What do you foresee life being

As a social media maven, in the big city, wherever that might be,

Makenna Waller 18:07

where do I see it? Let's see, I'm

Excuse me.

Jerrid Kalakay 18:13

So whenever MaKenna talks, she has a soundtrack.

Makenna Waller 18:22

Where do I see it going? Let's see.

I hope to be successful just like anyone else. I am just about to graduate, it's going to be this may so I need to get my internship so I'm hoping for my internship that I can be able to gain experience from it, which is obviously what is the internship is supposed to be offering. So

I mean,

I can only hope for just a chance to show what I can offer and a business being able to say hey, I'm going to give you the opportunity and you can say you deserve even though they may not know who I am. So I really think

A lot is just someone being able to open up and see who you are. And not necessarily saying, hey, you might not have to have everything that I'm looking for, but this is something and you're going to grow in the company. Yeah, absolutely. So where are you? Where are you looking for internships currently? I know I know Valencia has an internship office and the whole apparatus for them. Have you gone to the Career Center and started that process yet? Or I started online, I just applied for my internships. I'm looking at more internships. Now. Right now I applied for like a healthy one. Since I am interested in like beauty and health and wellbeing for people. I'm very interested in the sports aspect, and I go to Disney a lot. So anything with Disney, I'm all over. So anything about my hobbies, obviously, I have to be passionate about it. So I want to do something that I would love to do every day instead of just not necessarily interested in it. Yeah, absolutely. And if any of our listeners are looking for interns, how many hours a week is an intern?

Jerrid Kalakay 20:00

Set Valencia could provide. So some of the internships it really depends. Some say internship part-time or full time, but it looks like about 20 hours a week is what you're averaging. It just depends on how flexible you are and what they are specifically looking for. cool, very cool. And you know, you have to have at least 80 hours for the semester, so Oh, very cool. Just one credit. It's for 80 hours. But if you're looking for three credits, I think it's like 360. Yeah.

Yeah. Not not a math professor. I'll let someone else do the math on that. But yeah, absolutely. The neat thing about the digital media and social media as a unit, you're not even geographically bound. So you can, you know, technically work for any company in the world. Because it's all done. You know, a lot of it's done through the internet. And so there might be some companies that are not here in Orlando, that might be interested in an intern. So good luck. Good luck.

When your professor told you that you had the opportunity and your classes

relatively small, I think there's six or seven of you total

to be interviewed on the radio. How excited were you? Honestly? Oh, she did say we would get an automatic A. So I think that's what?

Well, that's a good deal.

Tim Hetz 21:19

I mean, as I said, I, for me, I listened to I like to listen to talk radio, and I like, I'm interested in this industry. So I mean, why not? Okay. It's an experience. So well, I wasn't excited for you because I know who you are and what you're talking about. But I was excited about the opportunity. She does a great job of exposing this to those different opportunities. This is awesome. A few weeks ago, we had another speaker come in and we were able to sit in a live professional recording. So that was cool. So it gave me a sense of excitement. Okay, you know, just behind that door. Nice, very cool. MaKenna would you think? Yeah, and I mean, me, I don't like the sound of my voice. But getting out of my comfort zone. Here. I am.

Makenna Waller 22:00

Being able to talk about some things and say who I really am. Yeah, absolutely. I think your voice is fine. I think it's fine. Everyone agrees. And then we also have some in-studio folks, we've got a couple more students that are here and a student that's absent today, I understand but they won't get that automatic an unfortunately. And then we have some other hosts of a radio show. Here in the studio audience. This is a little bit different for me, as my listeners will know is that I typically don't do live interviews and I typically don't have a studio audience. So this is a big deal. Whenever I come to the studio here, we always have a lot more folks involved

Jerrid Kalakay 22:37

in terms of it sounds like a lot of you are almost done with your degrees and probably will be moving on from Valencia in the next year or so.

What do you hope to kind of leave as a legacy at Valencia, if you were to think for a few moments about what you want to kinds of leave behind? What do you want your professor to remember you by and the rest of Valencia?

Tim Hetz 23:02

That's something I haven't really thought about but just I mean one of the things is the main thing is just and then I did all my work and you know on time and I think the biggest thing is whether it's worth at work ethic in school or just in regular jobs you got to have good work ethic so I wanted to always leave that behind is Oh yeah, he did a good job and he always said what he was going to do so Okay, cool. I like to leave behind in grade books as hope for the future students that will be taking the class as an as and, you know, the highest I can get, but no, seriously, I like to live to leave my story. Anytime I have an opportunity to tell my story I tell my story and a part of it is selfishly promoting my purpose. But another part is that for so long, my story was a curse to me. It was a Christian honor Why me? God, I don't get any brothers. No sisters. never even seen a picture of my father.

Felice Mathie 24:00

Right. But now, you know, during the course of the observations and the questions, you'd be surprised how many people along the way even before I got in the business, I was able to talk to and steer towards, you know, the what the couples of successful couples did. So now in my 35 years, you know, as of the last two years, it's been my greatest inspiration. So I'd like to leave my story in time I give a chance to tell my story. And that's an as hope to somebody else is probably going to some going through something, maybe not in this same area, but you can turn your story into something that's incredible for your life. So I like to leave that behind with anyone that listens to that. Yeah, absolutely. And it sounds like you're a little bit of a poet.

Jerrid Kalakay 24:42

Spoken word a little bit honest. A little bit. All right. Oh, I didn't think it. Well, I think he did not.

Because I don't know where he just started rhyming. And I was like, yeah, this is cool.

And MaKenna, what do you what are you leaving behind?

Makenna Waller 24:57

I just want to leave myself behind. Like, I don't want to

I don't want it to be like, I'm just like every other student, I want to be a stand-up student or, Wow, she did great. I have opportunities with her. I can talk to her even though I'm not in school anymore. But I mean, I do plan on being in school, even if I do graduate, I want to continue learning. I want to learn sign language and things outside my box, just expand my experiences and what I can do for the world. Very cool. Very cool. All right. Lastly, there are a bunch of students that are somewhere out in the radio sphere, thinking about taking this class is radio and podcasts in class. What would you tell them? Run, Don't go Don't take it. Or

I think it's a very opening experience. You really have to be able to go outside of your comfort zone. I personally don't like recording people are asking questions to people. So being able to communicate and talk with them to a person that you don't know it can be challenging, but you get used to it after a while. I think the products are very exciting as well.

keep it interesting, you can choose topics that you're interested in and passionate about. So it makes it more exciting to do. Very cool. Very cool. Thank you MaKenna definitely like, as she said, it's very challenging and certain aspects. Yeah, getting out of your comfort zone definitely. And doing things maybe that you thought you never could do. But also different types of projects, and then also working with groups. And learning how to do that because I mean, whether it's work again, in school or in school, you're gonna have to work work with people, different kinds of people. So that's, that's a good experience of doing the group projects. Awesome. Last but not least, I'd say definitely, definitely recommend this class. And this endeavor, that's just, that's this the age that we're in right now. Social media is a multi-billion dollar industry. podcasts are new radio, for today's you know, millennials and you so if that's a craft that you can add to your belt, regardless of what professional career you're going into, definitely add that because I guarantee every business integrated

Jerrid Kalakay 27:00

some form of social media absolutely said wonderfully. Alright, well thank you all Felice, Tim and MaKenna appreciate you all being on Teaching Change. Till next time, be nice and change some stuff.

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