“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe
Sitting in my favorite café reflecting on my last three years at USC, I am so grateful for the opportunities for growth I have experienced. From policy research at the Cato Institute, to sales and product work at a high-tech startup, to deal operations in Investment Banking, each opportunity gave me a different color on the professional world.
Through these experiences I have identified some core tenets of my professional world. These are the characteristics that, if met, will ensure my postgraduate environment is one of continued learning and growth.
- Product vision. I work best when I understand and am passionate about the long-term objectives of my employer. I want to picture where the product or platform will be in 1, 3, 5 years and know that I can be an impactful part of that development.
- Creative impact. I felt restricted this past summer in investment banking. There was a rigid set of outputs I needed to produce with little flexibility for how to get there or what the final result could look like. I thrive in environments where I can use creative problem solving to find the best route forward.
- Values, values, values. How does a company treat its customers? How does it treat its employees? What values embody its core operating principles? My values must overlap with those of my employer. When this is true, I will feel the greatest motivation and sense of purpose in my day-to-day operations. In a world where every company is trying to brand itself as the “Best Place to Work,” these values are what shine through and are clear especially when talking to current employees.
These three characteristics are guidelines, rough ones at that, to shape my postgraduate approach. I know that I will be able to drive the most value and impact when all three are met. With that said, this list is by no means exhaustive. I plan on continuing to refine my experience as I step out into the professional world.
Creating a framework is one thing, action is another. Let this be a commitment to the latter.