Thoughts about Sullivan Retreat by Ali Zai

Even though it has been more than two months after my participation in the Sullivan retreat I still can feel the difference that this experience made both in my personal and professional life. The Sullivan retreat was not only for business students or for psychology students, it was for any student who wanted to change the world and make it a better place.  It was obvious that the intention of the Sullivan retreat facilitators was to create activities that would work for all of the different perspectives that attendees had and it worked out amazingly. This was very encouraging since the skills learned can be applied to my future endeavors.

Moreover, my participation in the Sullivan retreat has made me more proactive. For instance, once I went back to Orlando, I started to ask/meet people who made it through and ask for their guidance and assistance. I started to make arrangements to attend free conferences on campus to meet like-minded people (which is a key for any success story). I started to look for opportunities around me and pursue them vigorously. After my participation at the retreat, I realized that opportunities can be found almost anywhere. This belief made me much more optimistic. I did not have this encouragement and confidence before my participation on the retreat and I’m thankful I was chosen for this great experience.

Also, program advisors empathized how important it is to have hands-on experience and be self-educated about the profession we want to seek. I have always believed in self-education more than formal education. However, the conversations I had with the attendees made me realize that both self and formal education are key in any self-development and both should be given high priority.  Formal education can guide us and make us discover what our passion is when we take different classes at college in the first two years. After two years, self-education should be given more priority since we have an idea about what we want in our life.

Overall, the experience was unique. This was my first-time participating in a retreat and it will not be the last time. I believe that the Sullivan retreat helps students and educators discover their interest and build on it. It also helps those who are trying to find themselves since a lot of ideas and opinions are exchanged during the event.


This year’s Sullivan Ignite Retreat is in North Carolina April 4th-7th!


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