First off let me say how good it feels to start writing again. Not only have I missed this outlet, but I have missed you! A lot of work went into figuring out how to work WordPress, so I hope you enjoy the new layout.
This summer, time has just slipped through my fingers. I had so many plans, and I now I find myself scrambling to check everything off my to-do list before school starts. If I didn’t do anything this summer, I know I hit a huge learning curve. I am amazed how much knowledge I have gained in such a small time frame. What better way to kickstart the (second) grand opening of my blog than dropping some knowledge? Below are a few of my favorite lessons.
1. Do not limit your dreams.
Sure it sounds cliche, but it is so easy to do. In my spare time I like to go online window shopping for homes. I always avoid clicking on homes valued at $300k or more no matter how gorgeous they are, because “I am sure I won’t be able to afford that in the near future.” Although it is great to have a budget, by me putting a cap on my potential wealth I am mentally limiting myself. I am basically telling the universe to put a limit on my future finances.
Sometimes my peers think I am being ridiculous, when I speak of my future multiple properties and private jet. It may sound excessive, but when I think of the impact I want to one day make, I dream as big as my imagination will allow. Most of you know I am striving to make an impact in the food industry. I could work an entry level job at Whole Foods and do my part or I could create my own global company to carry out my mission. Which role is more impactful? The possibilities are endless. Dream big.
2. “If you don’t build your own dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs”
This point sort of goes hand in hand with the first one. This summer I have had the opportunity to work with people who make up to four million dollars a year. Every one of them are passionate about what they do. In the beginning of the summer, I was convinced that financial services was not my forte’, but I would put up with it for the salary. Now that I have had that chance to see people who genuinely love what they do giving their all I have decided to do the same. If I am going to spend one-third of my life working, I might as well have a purpose other than to just merely survive. I might as well have fun. Deciding to return as an intern then soon to be hire at this unique firm with a 90% success rate compared to the 10% national rate would be an amazing opportunity. As long as I work hard, I would never suffer financially. However, in order to ensure that the fire of passion is ignited in me every time I go to work in the morning, I have decided to build my own dreams. It may be the unstable route, but I have big dreams and it would be more fulfilling see them through.
3. Do not avoid uncomfortable situations
Today in our society we have become professionals at avoiding awkward and uncomfortable situations. Whether it be hiding behind a computer screen to avoid human interactions or not attending events alone out of fear of awkwardness none of it benefits us. Sure we get to remain comfortable a little bit longer, but only until another situation arises. This summer I made the decision to jump head first into uncomfortable situations. I had the blessed opportunity to intern at an amazing firm, and was determined to make the most of it. For example, an advisor needed work done and asked me if I liked math. At the mention of the word “math”, a red flag went up in my head and my first instinct was to say “No, I hate math.” Instead I decided to push through my insecurity and smile as I responded “To an extent. What can I help you with?” He needed some stock cost basis analysis done and requested that I analyze financial statements and find the discrepancies. As he explained what he needed, I silently freaked out in my head because I had no clue where to start. I went back to my desk and worked hard trying to make sense of the thick binder of statements. Finally when I went to show him what I had completed so far, he walked me through the process step by step. After being shown how to do it, I was able to complete another one on my own. As a result of me approaching this situation head on, I became his go to intern for cost basis analysis. Had I not tackled the project I would not have learned such a valuable skill.
Another way I got out of my comfort zone this summer was by having more than small talk with my colleagues around the office. In my spare time I wandered the different floors meeting people on different teams and learning about their roles. Not only did this give me a chance to learn more about the organization, but also to make great relationships along the way. I now have another mentor that I can go to for professional advice.
4. Always be willing to add value
Although society gives financial services a bad reputation, one of my favorite things about the culture at firm I worked was how generous everyone was. Everyone is always willing to add value whether it be to a project or by investing time into an intern. One of my favorite stories one of the advisors told me was about how the firm chartered a cruise ship for the employees. On the ship they noticed some families that were not employees and later realized they were Make A Wish Foundation recipients. Although they were placed on the cruise, they were not provided with cash. Therefore everyone noticed that the children wanted souvenirs from the shops and the families avoided them. At that moment they called a staff meeting and raised twenty thousand dollars to be anonysmously deposited into their accounts. This story warmed my heart. Everyone at this firm is always searching for an opportunity to give.
Another reason I love their culture is because no one succeeds in the firm if they are selfish and money hungry. Since it is a team effort, everyone is eager to help each other up the ladder. Those who are partners take the time to meet with those who have just graduated to show them the ropes.
Also, always be willing to add value to yourself. This summer if I was not working on a project for someone, I was learning. After consulting with a few people at the firm, I researched and purchased my first few stocks. I have loss a couple dollars so far, but every dollar loss is a lesson gained. The day you stop investing in yourself is the day you stop living.
5. Hand the wheel to Jesus
It can be overwhelming trying to navigate which path to take in life. This summer I have been bombarded with so many potential paths that I have felt overwhelmed. At these times I put my faith in Jesus and trust that He will help me decipher which path to take. Three years ago I would have never imagined being this blessed. I know I am not where I am today solely by my own doings. Judging by society’s standards I do not deserve to be this blessed. However, that is the beauty of the grace of God. You do not have to deserve anything to receive His gifts. A gift is something that is given without any expectations of something in return. All I can do is be grateful and have faith that everything will always work out.