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Avil Beckford – Reading Challenge

Interviewer, Storyteller, Blogger, Founder – Extreme Reading Challenge

avil beckford
Most young girls have ideas of what they want to be when they grow up. To be honest, I have no recollection of me thinking about that. I have always read a lot, and I got very good grades in school. I remember the guidance counsellor telling me to go into engineering. That didn’t fly with me, so I studied computer science, and then I studied business.

Today, I conduct interview for my clients, then craft the interviews into success stories. I blog for corporate clients that do not have a dedicated person to do that function. I created the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge for professionals to develop career awareness and cultural sensitivity. It’s my response to the level of violence in the world today, and the rise of automation.

How I Went from There to Here

I remember like it was yesterday. I was at Mount Royal College in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, struggling to debug a COBOL computer program. A group of us were pulling an all-nighter. I made a vow that I wouldn’t be working in that field. I transferred to the University of Calgary, but decided I couldn’t waste all that knowledge, so I majored in Management Information Systems and Human Resources. I learned how to use SPSS, a software program, which launched my research career.

I conducted both primary and secondary research. I did customer profiling for the company I worked for in the US. The work I did for them, was often featured in the media. When I returned to Canada, my focus gradually started to move to information research. One of the skills I developed while conducting research was interviewing skills.

I eventually didn’t want to do research anymore because I thought it was so unsexy. And made me appear boring. As a researcher, I wrote many reports, often interviewed people to gather information, which allowed me hone those two skills. I had also taken several writing courses, so I decided to become a writer. Writing led to blogging, and during the mix, someone gave me the opportunity to interview some members of an organization, then craft stories for an anniversary book.

Who I Help

• I work with organizations to interview their clients/members, then transform the interviews into success stories. I also interview people over 60, so that they can use the information to tell their story. This is something they can give to family members, who may only know them in another context.
• I can interview executives who are about to retire to capture institutional knowledge to transfer from generation to the next.
• I ghost blog for corporations now, but will also do it for small businesses.
• I plan to work with professionals over 25, to teach them how to use my Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge to elevate their careers.

Mini Success Story

I’m not sure if this is considered a success story or not, but I have secured clients because I have a business blog. But this has enabled me to expand my reach in business. The other success story is the positive impact I am having with the people who are actively participating in the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge. Some of them are applying their newfound knowledge on the job – exactly the point!

Join the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge!

60 book in 365 days. Elevate your career, develop cultural sensitivity, and combine ideas from the books you read. Jump into the challenge to receive a toolkit to get the most from the books you read!

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