Earlier this month I had the chance to join Dr. Rob’s class at the Ross School of Business. Just four years ago, I was a student in his lecture where we explored our greatest challenges and wrote down goals for our lives. As I strolled through the Ann Arbor campus on my first afternoon, it didn’t take long for me to sense the anxiety in the air…it was Midterm Week. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to only worry about what was in my direct control during weeks like these.
My next morning started with an early wake-up call to get in a brisk power walk. I often use this time to work on my life’s most precious expedition: the mental journey. Managing professional relationships has been crucial to my initial success in Tech, but after my first year in Seattle I soon figured out that managing my most personal relationships (including the one with myself) was just as significant. I was lucky enough to invite my mom (Felicia) back to the class with me. I think in many ways this was me saying “thank you” to her for all she has sacrificed for me.
It is safe to say Dr. Rob’s class did not disappoint. Having the students interview me was somewhat intimidating, but in a very cathartic way. A few topics stood out in which I thought might be beneficial to summarize. Below are my top takeaways from the lecture on Wednesday, October 9th:
- When you ask a professional for their time or assistance, think about the ways in which you can repay them. Writing a handwritten note, following up monthly on your progress, and posting a recommendation on LinkedIn are all phenomenal ways to show your gratitude.
- There are three questions I like to ask myself when considering a job opportunity. 1) What will I be able to learn? 2) Do I want to be learning that? 3) Can I immediately contribute and make this company a better place?
- It is important to acknowledge what is currently causing you the most anxiety, and it is even more important to think through ways to combat that anxiety.
- Never forget the personal relationships that guided you through the challenging or difficult times. How can you show them you appreciate them? How may you assist them?
- Don’t be afraid to express what it is you want. This may seem simple, but it is a good idea to write out and speak about your goals. You never know when you are sitting next to the person who can help accomplish your next goal.See a clip of Cassie’s interview here!