The Inside Track

Alumni Insight: Following your Passions to the Right Career Path feat. Taylor Friedman ’14

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 10.01.38 AMTaylor Friedman graduated from Hamilton in 2014 with a degree in Neuroscience and Mathematics. She currently works for Unum Therapeutics as a Senior Research Associate. 


Those that know me know that I shy away from making big decisions. I have always been afraid to make the wrong choice, so I tend to do anything I can to keep my options open as long as possible. During my time at Hamilton, I majored in Mathematics and Neuroscience and was on the pre-med track. I was incredibly passionate about both majors, I found the material both fascinating and challenging, and the camaraderie of office hours helped me through many challenging periods. I often debated dropping one major, but it broke my heart to think of letting either go.


Over the summers between school years, I held internships at home in Boston. During the summers after my freshman and sophomore year, I worked at an Alzheimer’s Disease research lab at Massachusetts General Hospital. During this time, I learned technical lab skills, participated in large laboratory meetings and journal clubs, and learned about the publishing process. This work culminated in my first scientific publication. I learned what research meant outside of a classroom setting, and that experiments did not always go to plan and often the results are unexpected. The summer after my junior year, I wanted to see how I could use both of my majors together, so I interned in a lab at the Harvard School of Public Health and Dana Farber Cancer Institute that focused on Biostatistics and Computational Biology. During my time in this lab, I taught myself how to program in R and used my new skills to compare gene expression differences between ovarian cancer and healthy patients. The work was incredibly powerful, but I found myself missing getting my own hands dirty in the lab.


During my senior year, I decided I would work for a few years after I graduated to get some experience and to try to figure out my path. My first job out of Hamilton was at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in the Innovative Medicines Graduate Program. This was a two-year position during which I rotated into three different departments within Research and Development. My particular rotations were in Pathology, Translational Safety: Modeling and Simulation, and Oncology Bioscience.  Since AstraZeneca is a global company, there were cohorts of this program in Waltham, MA, Manchester, UK, and Gothenburg, Sweden, so three times over the duration of the program, we gathered in one of these locations and worked on personal development and leadership skills. I learned and grew immensely during this program and worked with some incredibly passionate people. I had entered this program hoping to find one rotation that stood out to me as my “calling” but found myself with a bit of a problem – I enjoyed all three so much and wanted to be in a position where I did not have to choose.


At the end of the program, I decided to try working at a biotech startup and I have been here almost one year.  I work for Unum Therapeutics, which is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company that works on developing a universal cellular immunotherapy to treat multiple cancers. The company is based off of a novel technique called ACTR (antibody coupled T-cell receptor). Currently, the company is small with about 50 employees, and much of the focus is on Research and Development. I am a Senior Research Associate in Drug Discovery, meaning that I am working on understanding new antibody pairs for our ACTR technology, in addition to anything else that comes up. As is typical of a startup, I wear many hats, and so each day looks very different. I run a wide variety of experiments and do data analysis and a little bit of programming, all of which lead to important decision making for the company. We are currently working towards clinical validation, and it’s a very exciting time to be a part of this company.  Internally, we are very transparent – we have weekly meetings and presentations from different departments of the organization, so we are all connected to what is happening in terms of business development, research, and especially the clinical trials. We all get to see how our daily work feeds into the aims of the company, which is very exciting and very different then the experience one can get in a larger company. My colleagues and supervisor are incredible. I am astounded every day by the passion and drive of everyone here – we work incredibly hard, but also find time to have social events both at work and outside of the office. I feel lucky to have found a company that allows me to apply both of my majors and be on the forefront of medical technology.


My advice for students would be…

  • Ask for help! Ask your professors, your parents, your friends, and your parents’ friends about what they do. Ask if there are any opportunities for you to learn. Ask to shadow or meet for coffee, and see if their career or path appeals to you.
  • Diversify your experiences – try different things, maybe something slightly different or out of your comfort zone feels better than what you thought you should do.

It’s okay to not know exactly what your path is. I struggled with this (and still do) but I am extremely happy where I am now. If you follow your passions and surround yourself with other passionate people, you will find a path that feels right.

Alumni Insight: “Show Your Crop” feat. Grant Meglis ’14

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 9.41.28 AM

Grant Meglis graduated from Hamilton in 2014 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy. He currently works for Booz Allen Hamilton as an Implementation Services Consultant. 


Growing Your Crop

You wake up 5:30am. Snowflakes tumble softly through the dark outside. That feeling of anxiety arises: Will there be a snow day? How will I know? When should I set my alarm?

We identify and then overlook simple problems constantly, every day. Small problems, like restarting the computer, require similar problem-solving skills to large problems, like codifying machine ethics. A strange dichotomy of productivity emerges, in which the performer is judged by the performance, not the effort.

At Hamilton, you cultivate mind, body, and spirit with great effort. You may be able to talk the talk, but to build your career you must show your crop. I will offer you a few ideas of crops that you can sell in the market. This means that when you are looking for jobs, you need to create measurable, marketable examples of your performance, experience, and skills.


Simple Business Similarities

Here are examples of conceptually simple things that businesspeople do all the time:

  • We apply our team’s capabilities to client requests, like using one law to prove another.
  • We gather requirements from clients, like clarifying a homework problem with the professor.
  • We design process workflows, like designing a new “button” onto the Google search page.
  • We research best practices, like reading Wolfram Alpha or Wikipedia.
  • We structure information in databases, like building the Statistics test questions.
  • We develop systems through programming computer code, like structuring matrices into operations to produce desired outputs.
  • We test to ensure quality software, like the old “plug and chug” algebra method.
  • We train clients to use our applications, like showing classmates the (process of finding the) answer.


The Business Case: Showing Your Crop

I work at Booz Allen Hamilton, supporting the implementation of Capital Planning software for Federal agencies. My job duties vary from training clients and building custom Excel reports to testing application developments and analyzing defects. Thus, the following examples revolve around software development and technology consulting.

Here are some ideas that allow you to show off critical skills and produce the measurable results that businesspeople value. For any or all of the following 11 steps, build things that you can take into an interview and show off, such as documentation, prototypes, or interpretive dance routines.

  1. Plan: Think of a problem you have or a way to improve something. Better yet, ask someone else. This problem does not need to be a new problem. Write down a paragraph or create a PowerPoint deck describing the issue or the enhancement: “Students and professors don’t know if class will be cancelled due to snow the next day. Early in the morning, countless people interrupt sleep cycles unnecessarily or lie awake, disappointed. We can do better.”
  2. Analyze: Imagine if you had $1,000 and two weeks to build a solution. Imagine if you had $250,000 and six months to build a solution. Document similarities and differences between reaching out to your roommate vs. reaching out to the local mayor’s office.
  3. Gather Requirements: Talk to a friend or professor for 15 minutes about what they would need if they were paying you to solve the problem. Document the conversation(s). Generate a list of requirements of the form “As a [user], I want [function], so that I can [goal]:” “As a Hamilton student, I want my alarm to know when to wake me up even on snow days, so that I can party the night before.”
  4. Research: Find a solution. Anything that might work. It does not need to be your own idea – solutions rarely are. Write it down in detail. “I want to build an alarm that directly connects to the Hamilton snow day notification system. If class is on, alarm on. No class, no alarm…”
  5. Design: Create a way of presenting your solution to others. Draw a picture of your alarm clock. Show different pages and screens a user can click on.
  6. Develop: Build or imaging building a basic prototype. How did you build it or how would you build it? Use screenshots and show step-by-step the process.
  7. Track Data: Build a database of important things you would need to track in your solution. Imagine how to organize tables of users, times of day, or alarm sound preferences. Or, determine where to put a “flag” that is set to 0 as a default and then set to 1 when there’s a snow day.
  8. Integrate: Tie your solution to other tools and systems. For example, how would your alarm communicate with the Hamilton snow day notification system? What information would transfer in between the services, how often, and in what form? Imagine and document.
  9. Test: Create test cases that list, step-by-step, reproducible instructions on how to verify that your solution is working as expected. Imagine ways your solution could break and ways of addressing those issues. For example, how could the alarm business logic misinterpret a 1-hour vs. 2-hour delay?
  10. Market: Show off your solution. Magnify the problem or solution by running around throwing snowballs at people at 5:30am to wake them up. Document the results.
  11. Support: Build a training document that demonstrates how your solution works to clients paying for it, team members wanting to help, or a random stranger sitting on the Sadove sunporch.

By using any or all 11 of these ideas, you can structure your vast knowledge, experience, and skills into a crop that you can sell by pointing at it. Just like a normal day pales in comparison to the fresh, exhilarating giddiness of a snow day, you want to walk into interviews and rip open the curtains, as the interviewee’s eyes lift wide to gaze upon the mountains of fluffy snow… metaphorically of course.

Alumni Insight: Taking Time Off Before Med School feat. John Bennett ’16

JohnBennettJohn Bennett graduated from Hamilton in 2016 with a degree in Chemistry and Mathematics. Following graduation, John worked as an EMT scribe in Ohio. John will be entering a MD/PhD program this upcoming July.

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I bid farewell to the hill. Even today, I feel as if I should be loitering on the first floor of the science center or scuttling to the diner for an inevitably late dinner. I dreadfully miss my Hamilton family and all of the memorable times I had during my four years. So, to the current students reading this, savor the flavor. Hamilton is a very special place, and you will likely miss it dearly once you leave. I certainly do.

Since my departure, I have been primarily focused on fulfilling my pre-med aspirations that I maintained at Hamilton. I have applied and been accepted to medical school while working as a medical scribe at University Hospitals of Cleveland. Having taken a gap year and worked for a year before medical school, I’d like to offer my two cents on why I took a gap year and insights into what I’m currently doing (and why you should do it too!).

Should I take a gap year, or even years, before medical school?

If you are prepared to present a competitive application directly out of Hamilton and feel as if you are ready to proceed with medical school very shortly after graduation, I would certainly not discourage you. A sizeable percentage of medical students nationwide (approximately 40% I believe) do go directly from undergraduate to medical school. However, based on that statistic, a majority of incoming medical students do take at least one gap year. Personally, I could not recommend this enough. I was initially reluctant to do so because I was anxious about finding something meaningful to do during my year off and scared to not be a student for the first time in my life. Despite my initial apprehension before I found my current scribe position, I know that taking the year off was the correct decision for me. Here’s why I’d recommend it:

  1. Time off from school – When you get back from winter and/or summer break at Hamilton, do you feel energized, ready to hit the ground running in a new semester, or do you feel like you have fallen out of the academic groove? If you are the latter, a gap year may not be that beneficial, but I am definitely in the former category. I needed those breaks at Hamilton to avoid academic burnout. I think the same principle applies to the gap year. After the much needed break I took from school, I’m excited to start medical school in the upcoming months. I think I would have burnt out without my gap year.
  2. More time to prepare your application – The medical school application process is a horrible experience (this is an understatement, in my opinion). It is drawn out over a year (starting in May of year x when the application opens and concluding in July-August of year x+1 when you matriculate, if you’ll kindly forgive me for the algebra) and it creates a tremendous amount of anxiety. Your future is in the hands of other people who have never met you and they are evaluating a piece of paper bearing your life, heart, and soul. This is what will determine the remainder of your professional life. How could it not create anxiety? Even if you are lucky enough to be accepted to your top choice school in mid-October, the earliest possible time you can be accepted, you still endured at least several months of unpleasantness. Please believe me when I say this is not something you want to undergo more than once. Taking the year off gives you more time to prepare the most competitive application. You may take more time to study for and take MCAT (another terrible experience that you don’t want to subject yourself to than once). You have more time for experiences, such as volunteering, clinical work, and other extracurricular activities, to show that you’re prepared for a career in medicine and, equally important, that you’re also a real person who has interests outside of science and medicine. Lastly, if you’re GPA is a bit lower than you’d like it, senior year frequently raises GPAs because you’re taking familiar classes in your major and you have gotten very comfortable in the college environment. Due to these factors, gap year(s) = stronger applications in many circumstances.
  3. Time off to do whatever you want – Want to work and make some money before the financial burden of medical school? Want some experience in the real world? Want to travel the USA or the world? Want some experience doing something completely unrelated to your future career? All possible with a gap year.

The moral of the story here is that if you want more time, take it. A gap year is worth what you make of it. Medical schools will still be here in a few years. I met applicants on the interview trail who were still in undergraduate, working in corporate America, pursuing master’s degrees and PhDs, and even taking time off to start a family. If you take your time and do what you love, you’ll thank yourself for it. Personally, I used the extra time to work as a scribe.

Are you interested in being a scribe?

Good. For an aspiring pre-med, I could not possibly recommend this position enough. Here’s some information about it and why I would recommend it so highly.

What do scribes do?

This is a bit of a hard one to answer, because this will greatly depend on the venue where you choose to work. Broadly, think of the medical setting you are in (ER, physician office, etc.) as a courtroom. The doctor is the judge (the person running the proceedings). You are primarily the stenographer. Your job is to transcribe the proceedings into the medical records system. What is the doctor doing? What is the history of the patient’s present illness (chief complaint, how long since onset, associated symptoms, etc.)? What is the patient’s past medical and surgical history? What are the abnormalities on the patient’s physical exam (e.g. If the patient’s chief complaint is abdominal pain, is the patient’s abdomen tender and/or bowel sounds abnormal? If the patient’s chief complaint is a fall, are there any external signs of trauma?) The doctor and patient will relay this information to you for you to transcribe. You may have other responsibilities, but this documentation is the crux of your duties.

Why is it such a good experience?

Before I started the position, I thought that it may be mundane and repetitive, but I couldn’t have been more incorrect. In this position, you gain a tremendous amount of knowledge about medicine. At the most basic level, you learn medical terminology, which is detailed and precise but easy to master with practice. You also can learn how medical professionals communicate and work with one another, see and help many different patients, and observe the daily duties and practices of a physician. Personally, I don’t think I truly knew the profession medicine until I did this.

What sorts of people work in this field?

I don’t know of any career scribes. The vast majority are using the position as a stepping stone to another career in medicine. Personally, I work with other scribes who are medical students, pre-medical, PA students, pre-PA, and pre-NP. This is certainly not a coincidence. Scribing is a fantastic learning experience for future healthcare workers.

Where can I work as a scribe?

Pretty much anywhere in the US. I chose to move back to my home in Cleveland because I love the area and wanted to work in the community where I grew up. What sorts of places can I work at? As I said previously, a lot of different venues use scribes, including ERs, primary care offices, specialty care offices, and many more. I work in the ER, which I love because the fast-paced environment suits my, in kinder words, overly energetic personality. It’s up to you, though, where you want to be. Choose where you think you’ll be happy.

I’m sold! How do I get this kind of position?

This is one area where I’m a bit of an outlier. I discovered the job opening for my current position through a fortuitous twist of fate and was able to obtain employment through a physician group. The vast majority of scribes are employed by one of the large scribe companies (Scribe America and the like). These companies have many opportunities. If you are seriously interested in pursuing scribing, searching the websites of these companies is a where you should begin. Apply early and broadly!

Final Thought

Much to my chagrin, the medical school admissions process is much too nuanced and complex for me to cover in this post. If you are looking for a place to start, I would highly recommend the Hamilton pre-health website. The information on it is thorough and I found it invaluable for all of my four years at Hamilton and especially during the application process. Best of luck to you and your pursuit of a career in medicine!

Alumni Insight: How Networking led to a Career in Equity Research feat. Victoria Madsen ‘16

Victoria Madsen graduated from Hamilton in 2016 with a degree in Economics. At Hamilton, she was the treasurer of Alpha Theta Chi sorority and a member of the Micro-Finance club. She now works as an Equity Research Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The internship and post-graduate job search often do not follow a linear path and, in my experience, are most successful when conducted with an emphasis on networking. In order to attain my current position as an Equity Research Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, I leveraged both my prior experience in finance and the Hamilton network. The summer following my sophomore year at Hamilton, I interned in sales & trading at a broker-dealer in New York City, a position I found through an informational interview. During the internship, I had the opportunity to rotate through various positions outside for S&T, including equity research and prime brokerage, and, in doing so, gained exposure to various roles and narrowed my search going forward. The following summer, I secured a position in BofAML’s 10-week Equity Research Summer Analyst program, on the electric utilities team, which culminated in a presentation to senior management. I applied to the position through HamNet and, during the three rounds of interviews, was able to pivot my prior experience in global markets by drawing parallels between my role in sales & trading and global research. During the internship, I differentiated myself by contributing to published reports, networking throughout the department, and fine-tuning my presentation.

As a full-time analyst in equity research, my work consists of financial modeling, content generation (writing research reports), and interacting with clients. I am part of a three-person team, including a senior analyst, an associate, and myself, covering the paper & packaging sector. Teams typically range in size from two to six members depending on the market cap under coverage and/or the complexity of the companies. Research analysts serve their clients (institutional investors from both long-only and hedge funds) by providing investment advice on specific stocks under coverage, industry knowledge, and access to company management. Equity research analysts develop skills that are easily transferable to various roles, including a strong grasp on corporate finance and accounting, the ability to fundamentally value stocks, and an understanding of the impacts of global macroeconomic events on equity markets. In my experience, equity research is best suited to students with strong analytical, quantitative, writing, and public speaking skills paired with an attention-to-detail. Although courses such as Financial Economics and Accounting certainly aid in the role, a concentration in economics or mathematics is not a prerequisite. Although coming-up the learning curve in the role, especially in terms of financial accounting, was initially a challenge, I have found that the skills that I developed during my liberal arts education – namely the ability to communicate effectively – have been the most essential asset in both my internship search and within my current role. I encourage students interested in the field of finance, and with an applicable skill set, to explore equity research as they conduct their internship and/or job search!

From JP Morgan to the World of Non-Profit: Alumni Insight from Dan Fielding ’07

Dan Fielding graduated from Hamilton College in 2007 with a major in Public Policy.

After graduating, I moved to New York City and started working at Bear Stearns. It was June of 2007 and I believe I was the last person hired in the Private Client Services Department. Bear was sold to JP Morgan in a transaction facilitated by the Federal Reserve in March of 2008. My team somewhat simply moved across the street from 383 Madison and became a part of JP Morgan at 277 Park. We actually did quite well in 2009 and 2010 but I did not enjoy my work, working for a very large bank or the culture of the firm or Wall Street in general at that point.

I left JPMorgan and NYC in April 2010 and spent about 4 months traveling with a Hamilton classmate. My four months of travel brought me to impoverished parts of the Deep South and to Developing countries for the first time. When I returned to NYC in Mid-September 2010, I knew that I wanted to work in the nonprofit field, but I wasn’t quite sure what that meant.

I applied to a bunch of jobs but was regularly told that I “did not have enough non-profit experience”. I used the Hamilton network to speak with other graduates working in various “nonprofit” and “philanthropic” fields at that time. And I started volunteering. I volunteered because I wasn’t exactly sure what I really wanted to do. I had only one “real” job at that point, and this was a great opportunity to see what different work/office environments were like and I needed to gain the experience that potential employers told me I was lacking.

I was volunteering with a few different organizations including Habitat for Humanity NYC. Sporadic volunteer work at Habitat NYC, progressed to into regular, 20-hour per week volunteer work, and ultimately a full-time position when one opened up in the Homeownership Department. I am now the Homeownership program manager working directly with the families that purchase Habitat homes. I love my work, my coworkers and my office culture and environment.

My biggest piece of advice for current students or people just starting their careers: Intern and/or volunteer, show up on time and demonstrate that you are willing to put in the effort and ask questions.  I really didn’t know much about affordable housing when I was hired by Habitat NYC, but I had been reliable, I worked hard and I demonstrated a willingness to learn and take on new projects.  

I believe it is easier for an organization to train someone for the specific skills needed for a job when the organization knows that the person is going to show up on time, work hard and is willing to learn as compared to hiring someone with all the skills needed listed on the resume, but the organization is not sure about a person’s work ethic or ability to adapt and grow.

Volunteering is especially important if you are interested in a non-profit career. Unlike for-profit companies that have the ability to hire as they scale, non-profits are forced to rely heavily on volunteers. Hiring a new FTE is a big step for any company but it’s especially risky when the new salary relies on donations.

Many of Habitat NYC’s full-time staff started as either volunteers, part-time employees or AmeriCorps Service Members. The AmeriCorps Program is a great opportunity that I encourage people to research. Many people do AmeriCorps as a sort of gap-year before graduate school but it can also lead to a full-time position.

Alumni Insight: How one student landed her dream job in Political Advocacy feat. Isabelle Van Hook ’11

Isabelle Van Hook graduated from Hamilton College in 2011 with a degree in world politics. She works as the Political Fundraising Manager at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

We all know the occasional frustrations that come from living in “the Hamilton bubble.” It can feel like “the real world” is so far away from life on The Hill, but I’m convinced that the bubble is excellent preparation for life off The Hill.

The Hill is really a life-skills playground for students. There are infinite opportunities for skill-building and growth, if you look around or ask. My particular Hamilton playground was the Levitt Center, where I gained skills and started a community-based project that became something concrete I could show off in job interviews.

My Levitt Center community-based work in Utica helped me land a job as a field organizer in Allentown, PA to re-elect President Obama (plus a connection from a Hamilton classmate — you really can’t beat the Hamilton College alumni network!)

After we won the election, people would ask what was next for me. I said I wanted to work in major gifts fundraising for Planned Parenthood — after all, fundraising is building relationships and engaging people in important causes — and for me, a continuation of the work I’d done on the Obama campaign. Fast forward a few months and I was working as a temp in the Human Resources department of Planned Parenthood. HR was not my passion, but it was a chance to prove myself and show my work ethic. I spoke with my manager and told her that I was really interested in the major gifts fundraising department — and when an entry-level position opened up, she made sure I had a chance to interview.

I learned that no one was going to read my mind to figure out what my interests were and where I was interested in growing professionally. I was especially interested in the political advocacy and electoral work the Planned Parenthood Action Fund did, and made my interest known. Anytime there was fundraising work to do in that realm, I volunteered to help on the project, and reminded my colleagues of my background in political science and how passionate I was about that work.

My telling and asking paid off, and in October 2015, I was offered a new position as the Political Fundraising Manager.

Hamilton taught me to be a self-starter. I obviously learned important lessons in the classrooms, but what has stuck with me the most is what I learned through the Levitt Center. As a student, I wanted to work with my refugee peers in Utica, and the Levitt Center helped me make it happen. Say yes to opportunities that might not seem like a perfect fit — you can use your skills to pivot to the next opportunity that fits better. Human Resources wasn’t a career I wanted to pursue, but it helped get me get my foot in the door. By showing my work ethic, telling my managers what my goals and interests were, and asking for the opportunity to do what I was most passionate about, I was able to find my way to my dream job working to support the incredible efforts of our Action Fund staff, volunteers, and activists to protect and defend reproductive health and rights.

Alumni Insight: Know Thyself (You do You) feat. James Crafa ’12


James Crafa ’12 graduated from Hamilton with a major in Economics and minor in History. James lives in Park City, UT and works as a Manager of Corporate Sales for Qualtrics.

I assume I’m not the only Hamilton Alumni that didn’t have any idea what to do after graduation, but it certainly felt like that at the time.

I was fortunate enough to leverage a few connections (… it’s the hands you shake after all) to land an entry level role at Wayfair in Boston. At the time, I figured it would be cool to move to a new city and work at a growing company. Aside from that I really didn’t think too much about whether it would actually be the right fit for me.

Throughout my nearly three years spent in Boston I ended up doing quite a bit of self-reflection. It wasn’t that I was unhappy, quite the contrary actually, but there was just something missing. I boiled it down to one question, “What do I want?”

I quickly realized I needed more. I wanted to expand both my career at a quicker trajectory and my own personal horizons. There just had to be something out there other than brunch and BHP (a bar much like the Rok after midnight), as great as those things are. If you take away one thing from this post, just don’t settle. I’ve met countless people who are not overly enthused with where they live or what they do, but they don’t do anything about it! I cannot tell you how much that frustrates me.

The first step is figuring out what’s important to you. The second is taking action; otherwise it doesn’t really matter.

For me, I wanted a higher quality of life and a lower cost of living. So I applied to a number of top-rated tech companies in Utah. You might be wondering why Utah. There’s a long answer to that, but the short version is I love to ski, have family in the area and wanted to get out of the city. I ended up getting an interview, and later a job, at my top choice, Qualtrics.

A few months later all my worldly possessions were on a train to Salt Lake City. I now have my own place at the base of Park City Mountain Resort and I ski every weekend November-April while still holding a ‘real’ job that’s accelerating my career faster than I could’ve imagined. Now don’t get me wrong, I was extremely fortunate both in my job and housing search, but it came from having a clear picture of what was important to me and the drive to actually act upon it. The incredible experience I gained at Wayfair, naturally my Hamilton education, and the mentorship I received from my coach, T.J. Davis, both in school and after, were invaluable along the way. A bit of luck didn’t hurt either.

When I was asked to compose a few remarks for this blog I knew I wanted to share my path of personal reflection and how it led me to find happiness not only with my career, but also with my personal life. It’s not out of the ordinary in this day and age to make a leap of faith and move away from your hometown, but it is difficult to have the self-assuredness and the utmost confidence that you’re making the right decision.

I wanted to title this, “You do You” because it’s both fitting and one of my favorite phrases, but after thinking more about Hamilton I realized a more apt title would be “Know Thyself”, as corny as it sounds. Only through a solid understanding of your wants, needs, desires, and drivers can you find the clarity to not only make a decision, but to back it up and feel confident that what you’re doing is right.

I do not want you to leave this article thinking I have it all figured out, that could not be further from the truth. There are constant challenges both personally and professionally that I continually strive to improve (like 30 lbs of weight that’s gotta come off and “how am I supposed to hit my sales number”). What I do want you to take away is don’t ever settle. Find what makes you happy and strive to achieve it. If you can nail that down, you are far ahead of the game.

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