Get to know everyone

When I was in college I remember sitting with my advisor/mentor Dr. LoPresto. He sat with me as we chatted about my career options. At the time I was graduating in a few months with a degree in Psychology. I had spent my Junior year studying in Leuven, Belgium, and I had the “business bug”. While was in Belgium I took core business courses next to University of Chicago business students: and I was getting straight A’s. Now what?

I remember vividly Dr, LoPresto asking me what I wanted to do: and I said “I don’t know”.

Not the best answer to give to the man that had helped to make my Senior year at Loyola College so special. He pushed back and asked me

“where were you for the first two years at Loyola?”
“Who did you spend time with?”
“Who did you learn from”?

I had no answer. At this moment it dawned on me. Did I make an effort to get to know everyone that could assist with my career decisions? Had I consulted with students that were studying Psychology? Had I exhausted all resources in the Psychology Department – or had I waited until the last minute for the reality of graduation to set in.

What had happened here?

I hadn’t set Goals
I didn’t get to know EVERYONE
I didn’t listen

How can these lessons translate in business?

Dr. LoPreso helped me with many things that day. He helped to point out a few things I did wrong, but he also let me know what I did right. I was on the right path to business – but I had to cultivate that path. I couldn’t just aimlessly wander into a business interview with an answer like “I don’t know”….

Set Goals – know what you want, and go get it. I eventually realized I needed to further my business education before I could succeed after graduation. I applied to NYU, and went on to earn a MS in Direct Marketing
Get to know EVERYONE – I put myself out there, and didn’t hide. I tried to get to know everyone I could, and I picked their brains. what did they do on a day to day basis? How did they get there? Did they love it? Since then I’ve cultivated a network of colleagues I can say are friends as well. Life’s to short to use people as stepping stones. Who am I to say I’m better than anyone?
Listen – I shut my cocky mouth and started to listen. I realized I had so much to learn – and I still do. So I shut up and listen, and it will pay dividends.

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