Larry Smith talks at the UW Entrepreneurship Society. I have had the privilege of taking Larry Smith’s courses before, and it is something fantastic. He has advice which is 100% honest. There’s no digging, no analyzing, just listening and taking it to heart. Thank you Larry, for all that you have done for the world through teaching. And with regards to you sharing your voice else where: yes, Waterloo will miss you and there will be a giant gap to fill, but to not share what you have to say with as many people as possible would be a shame.
As a student, I have an education I’m trying to achieve. However, there are some (aka many) things that I’d like to learn in addition to my education. Understanding that learning specific things will help you get to that next point in your life is great motivation for actually doing the learning. For example, what will help me get my next job? This may seem rather shallow, but understand that when I say job I mean that one thing you do that you’re completely passionate about and dedicated to. Also realize that usually, there are requirements in order to get the job you want that’s acting on your passion, and those requirements are more than just…having a passion.
For me, I knew that I wanted to work in the technology sector for amazing start-ups working to revolutionize the healthcare or education space. This is how I found out what I needed to do to get there:
- Find your passion.
- Find companies/organizations that you think you could work for, because they’re working on something you would be passionate about/are chasing the same dream as you.
- Think of what you’d want to do in that company. What part of chasing that dream do you want to be. It could be ‘all of it’, or ‘CEO’, whatever. Just know what you want.
- Look at the job postings for that kind of position. Just to get a rough sense of what that position means to you. This step is helpful because sometimes you’ll realize that the position you want isn’t necessarily the same way the company thinks of it.
- Write the dream resume. Write the resume you would hand to them in order to get hired on the spot for exactly what you want to do.
- Look at that resume. What’s on there that you don’t have?
Those ‘don’t have’s are where you need to focus. Now the process may seem obvious, but for me the real take away from this was affirming for myself that the things I want to learn are indeed necessary for what I want to do, even if the skill isn’t directly being able to do what I want to do (make sense? maybe?). For example, I tried to learn JQuery 2 months ago. I got bored, and it tapered off. Today, I am aware that knowing JQuery is a great skill to have as a designer, as it allows me to effectively build what I design and validate my work. Either way, I should learn JQuery, but with the latter approach a) I know why and I want to, and b) I actually am.
So Massive Health, the company which I ranted on about being super cool and where I’d love to work, actually HAD A CO-OP POSTING IN THE FIRST ROUND! I guess I had just skipped over it, which i am not proud of in the least.
My next plan was to meet Aza at DOT Conference by doing his group even on the Sunday. I couldn’t find the sign-up this morning (no link in the email, and they didn’t do it via eventbrite), and by the time the event organizer got back to me and I could sign up (I was in class) his event (and all the others) were full!
I have an uncle who used to work pretty high up in Shell, and he told me that most of their Executives are Engineering graduates, as they were required to understand the technical aspect of the company in order to make appropriate decisions.
He had also pointed out how BP’s poor response to the oil spill a few years back was due to there lack of in-house technical knowledge aka technical knowledge in the upper ranks. When shit hits the fan, but all of your technical capability has been outsourced to India, it is significantly harder to effectively understand and solve the problem.
“We must first be our own before we can be another’s.”
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