Skip to main content

Starting Your Career or Seeking an Internship: Seek Answers Where You Have the Most Questions

I met with a young college student recently to talk about how best to utilize the summer – specifically, internships. 2018 marks 13 years since I started the co-op program at Georgia Tech. Since then, I have been fortunate to pivot my career to what I do (and love) now including working with young interns.

My tips:
  • Early years (college, pre-college, early 20s, etc.) should be geared towards learning. Most students do not have much real-world working experience. Yet, our lives beyond college means we must work to constantly put food on the table. Prioritizing learning early on enables students to identify what one enjoys early on, as well as what one does not enjoy.
  • Be courageous – it’s okay to fail. It’s advantageous to build a foundation of putting one’s self out there (e.g. reaching out to idols, learning to code, etc.). Being courageous even “a little bit” can create a habit for the future.
  • Seek answers where you have the most questions. In the case of the student, she was considering two different paths – one in healthcare, one in development. It can be difficult to choose a path for the summer when both offer unlimited opportunities/ benefits. I advised her to opt for the path she has the greatest questions about. Again, it’s okay to fail and pivot, especially early on in life where there is less risk.
  • Start developing your WHY and your PURPOSE. I’m a fan of Simon Sinek’s message to understand what drives people. This will be nebulous for most young folks, but it’s a great place to start building self-awareness.
Everything can seem new and confusing early on for this young student. It’s all a process. Take a deep breath. Now is the time to cultivate never-ending curiosity.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Life-Defining Moment Happened When I Failed to Make Varsity in High School

Ever stop to think about who you are? What makes you tick and tock? How about what you truly enjoy and what you’re good at vs. not good at? Or what/ who has shaped you into the person you are today?
I’m at this stage of figuring out whether to continue independent consulting while iterating on ideas for the next startup or take on some full-time employment (consulting, product management, or otherwise). My recent post about my daily/ weekly schedule was an interesting exercise in stepping back and recognizing what I’m actually doing in a day, and made me really think at the macro level.
In one of my recent reflections, I thought about defining moments in my life. One of those watershed events that truly transformed me was my failure to make the Varsity soccer team in high school. I won’t rehash the whole story here – shared the story almost a year ago in my post titled “Getting Through Dark Moments and the Most Vulnerable Story I've Ever Told Publicly”. It’s this moment that I w…

Vertical SaaS? Horizontal SaaS? It’s All News to Me

Not sure why, but I have only recently heard of a term called “Vertical SaaS”. Okay, there’s also “Horizontal SaaS”, too. Based on some light research, looks like vertical SaaS is also a growing trend and the number of companies fewer than horizontal SaaS providers.
Vertical SaaS borrows its moniker from the concept of vertical integration whereby there is more control over a supply chain from raw materials to point-of-sale. Here, vertical SaaS companies focus on a niche market (industry) offering a solution that enables more process control.
Horizontal SaaS providers get really good at a particular offering, and widen their market to reach scale. Their focus is on breadth of market, and thus, its sales and marketing strategies can require more resources.
Many vertical SaaS companies (such as Veeva Systems, Guidewire, Fleetmatics) are doing well usurping legacy systems of traditionally slow-tech-adoption industries. Here, vertical companies develop a best-of-breed product, and focu…

Role of A Startup Advisor

Over the last year or so, I have become an Advisor for a couple startups. It’s been a great experience for me to teach and continue learning as an entrepreneur. I do meet with several startups and entrepreneurs weekly, but not officially as an Advisor save for a couple.
During (and especially after) Body Boss, I realized the importance of having Advisors. Advisors help startups and the executive team navigate the go-to-market waters bringing specific experience to the table – industry, technology, etc. With that comes connections, too.
The role of a startup Advisor includes: Guiding the startup on its directionProvide valuable insight into the industry, competition, market, etc.Share connections to move the company forward – prospects, new hire candidates, otherEstablish cadence around metrics for progress In exchange for devoting time and attention (and reaching success, hopefully), startups typically provide stock or cash to Advisors. This ensures both parties are aligned on objecti…