Many Fanshawe students are moping around this week, complaining to their friends and family about how Fanshawe College’s brand is tarnished.

Their concern: “My employment ability once I graduate has suffered.”

There is absolutely, uniquivably, no doubt that Fanshawe’s brand equity got hurt on Saturday and employers may question your responsibility level while you went through school.

And because of this, students just got handed the opportunity of a life time and they don’t even know it.

Let me explain: Tuesday night, I was on a panel on London’s Rogers TV Newsmakers Show and I heard of a story of a Fanshawe student who was at a job fair on Monday. He was wearing a Fanshawe College name tag. He walked around the auditorium and kept getting interrupted by potential employers. However, they weren’t asking about his employable credentials. They were asking him about the Fleming Drive incident. He was upset.

He should stop being upset and so should you.

You see, if you’re a Fanshawe student, it shouldn’t be about what happened on Fleming Drive.

It should be about what you did after Fleming Drive.

And what happens after, makes all the difference.

Here’s how this can look:

Situation: Fleming Drive Riot happens on March 17, 2012.

Your response:

“I called London Police Services (or City of London), learned about all the volunteer opportunities and signed up for 50 hours. I not only did this, but I recruited 9 of my friends too. In total, I became responsible for 500 hours of volunteer service time in London Ontario to give back.” Tip – London Clean & Green is just around the corner.

“I helped coordinate a 1,000 student rally at Victoria Park on a Saturday, March 31. We called the campaign, “Take Our College Back.” Each student brought 3 canned food items and made a 3,000 canned donation to the London Food Bank. We got tons of media – just good media this time.” (yes, local and national media would cover this).

Get the idea?

There once lived an incredible girl named Rachel Joy Scott. She was 15 years old. She was the first of 13 people to be killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.

Her father, Darrell Scott, made a commitment to her daughter after her death. He vowed that Rachel’s death would not be in vain. He committed to himself, his daughter, and others, that he would cause her passing to impact millions of lives positively because of it. In his heart, he felt this is what Rachel would want.

Darrell went on to start the non-profit organization called Rachel’s Challenge, an organization that exists to wipe out students committing violence against each other. The number of people that their organization has impacted? As of today, over 17 million. The group has also recorded thousands of suicidal students that have averted taking that action because of being in one of their seminars.

I’ll repeat: It’s not about what happened on Fleming Drive.

It’s about what future you’re going to create because of it.

If you’re Fanshawe College’s Corporate Administration team or Student Council, you could take charge of this situation too and help create and provide community service opportunities for students. Not only is student’s biggest opportunity right now now, but so is yours. How often do you have almost every person in North America talking about your brand for a day? What a great way to have your career not defined by an event, but instead defining your career because of your response to an event.

And for all the young adults charged because of your behaviour that night and feeling like you’re life’s ruined because you’ve been permanently branded as a criminal responsible for ruining a City and College -Don’t stand for this. You can take this same sort of action.

Heroes, typically, aren’t made because of situations – they’re made because of what they do about a situation.

Are you all going to miss this opportunity? Or will you take your college back and create a future that matters to you? A future that maybe wasn’t going to happen if it weren’t for Fleming Drive?

Employers are looking for those kinds of people.

Andrew Schiestel is the Chief of WOW! Projects at tbk Creative, a national award winning, London Ontario based web design & social marketing agency. The company exists to instigate and accelerate consumer action around brands.

To contact Andrew about speaking at your upcoming web marketing & communications event, click here. To join tbk Creative’s growing Facebook community dedicated to optimizing your digital marketing efforts, click here.