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Use Education to Power Through Road Blocks

Ricki Y. Barlow, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs Alumnus of the Year

People  |  May 10, 2016  |  By UNLV News Center
Ricki Y. Barlow

Ricki Y. Barlow (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

Ricki Y. Barlow, ’08 BA Political Science, ’12 Masters of Public Administration, has been the Las Vegas City Council Ward 5 representative since 2007. He serves on numerous boards, including the California-Nevada Super Speed Ground Transportation Commission, the National League of Cities Community Economic Development Board, and the Southern Nevada Gang Task Force. He also holds an executive management graduate certificate from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The advice I’d give myself as a new graduate … We are living in a world where employment opportunities are no longer limited by political boundaries; the world is open to us. As technology increases, boundaries are removed and business is conducted remotely; it extends outside our local communities and region and across the globe.

As you move through your career, you will have opportunities to embrace your individuality while also learning from constructive feedback and exchanges with like-minded individuals with similar goals. Life is not linear for many. In fact, the majority of us zig-zag through life to reach our goals. This should not be a deterrent on your path to reach greatness, but a permeable system … to reach your goals as you watch for opportunities.

Don’t show fear, embrace the obstacles, and understand that these are road blocks you have been equipped through your education to handle. Failure is not an option; I have instilled this belief in myself to persevere through life’s challenges. I view these moments of challenge as building blocks that provide small steps leading to larger steps to my successful and profitable career.


The Alumni Advice series is part of our special 2016 commencement week celebrations, which include the annual Alumni Association Awards Program May 12, and the spring graduation ceremonies on May 13 and 14. Join us in congratulating our newest alumni on social media with the hashtag #UNLVGrad.