Alisha Stratton was leaving her first OB-GYN appointment when she got the call with an invitation to speak at Power to Become. With P2B happening in February, she would be just shy of eight months pregnant at the time of the event.
“I was like ‘uh, I’m gonna have to get back to you,'” Stratton said, a BYU-Idaho alumna, with a laugh. “I was shocked on two accounts so we’ll see what happens. I was excited to hear from BYU-I in general.”
Stratton had heard of Power to Become — a networking event coordinated by Alumni Services — from other siblings that had attended BYU-I, but that’s about it.
She currently works at USAA where “she has developed and enabled technology solutions for the military community,” according to her Power to Become biography.
“I love USAA’s mission,” Stratton said. “When I graduated, I wanted to work someplace where I was contributing to a cause bigger than myself. Making the lives of military members better, I always feel like I’m making a difference for someone in their lives.”
Stratton looks forward to coming back to Rexburg to see the campus and get a sourdough sandwich from her favorite Rexburg restaurant.
“I’m most looking forward to a meal at Millhollow,” Stratton said.
Stratton’s preparation has been a long process of refining and finding points she wants to share that people could retain and live by. She also set up weekly meetings with Spencer Haacke, a communication professor and director of the Presentation Practice Center.
Stratton said the meetings with Haacke have made the end result much better with his ideas, practice and polishing her speech by having the students in mind.
Stratton’s presentation is titled “Extraordinary by Design” and came from wanting to be relatable to students and projecting a message that students could achieve.
“I’ve been to a lot of conferences and I didn’t want to talk about myself and how great I was,” she said. “I wanted students to be able to tell themselves they could transform themselves from ordinary to extraordinary through their decisions and being intentional.”
One piece of advice Stratton would give to BYU-I students trying to figure out their path is to pursue their passions.
“Find what you love and follow it,” she said. “You can be successful following your passion if you’re willing to put in the time and work.”
Stratton loves to travel and has visited 22 countries and 47 states. Her favorite places outside of the United States are Madagascar, where she served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Thailand because of the people, the food and the diversity of attractions, both touristy and non-touristy alike.
Within the US, Stratton says her favorite place is Hawaii, specifically the island of Kauai for the outdoor focus and a lower number of tourists.
Students and community members can register for Power to Become here. Tickets for students and BYU-I employees cost $10 and tickets for community members cost $15.
$25 VIP tickets get you a seat in the front 3-4 rows, an invitation to a luncheon with the speakers on the day of the event and a P2B conference t-shirt.