The following blog post was written by Khadija Lalani, UHP alum and current PAF fellow.
Last Thursday, four awesome UHP Alum participated as panelists on our first Alumni Panel. Thank you to those who attended, and for those who couldn’t make it, this won’t be the last of Alum events, so keep your eyes peeled!
Our alum had plenty of career insights and wisdom to share. Here are some of the highlights:
Humility is important: After four challenging and intellectually stimulating years at the UHP, you finally land a job at your dream workplace, walk into the beautiful space, and your manager asks you to complete the glorious task of…making copies. Say what now? While making copies is clearly not what you pictured doing after earning your degree, it is critical to have the humility to recognize that everyone in the workplace starts somewhere. Rio Hart, now at the Brookings Institution, shared some feedback his supervisor provided him after his first few weeks. While he excelled at researching and writing, he admitted falling short on managing his boss’s calendar and other more menial tasks. Rio emphasized that this feedback was a learning experience, and made him realize the importance of giving your best to every task, no matter how inconsequential it may seem.
Passion is key: Andrew Hori, now a cook at Rose’s Luxury, described his experience breaking into the culinary world. It certainly wasn’t easy, and still isn’t easy. In his field, the Jose Andres’s of the world are few and far between. Andrew knows that achieving success in the kitchen requires tremendous time, unparalleled work ethic, and a lots of personal sacrifice. Nonetheless, he loves cooking and is at his best when working with food. In addition to his talent, his passion for food is evident, and motivates him to spend time learning in the kitchen, even on his occasional day off.
People are people: When answering a question about making friends and maintaining a social network after graduation, Shailly Gaur provided valuable insights. She currently serves as a scribe at Children’s National Medical Center, and is very close with a number of her colleagues, who vary in age, experience, and background. However, she noted that when you spend your days working side by side, a sense of teamwork, camaraderie, and friendship is likely to develop. Whether she is spending time with old friends from GW, or heading out with some colleagues, Shailly has been able to meet new people through shared interests and experiences. At the end of the day, people are people.
Time is precious: Reflecting on her time in undergrad as well as her current schedule as an Analyst at Deloitte, Rachel Weiss highlighted the importance of valuing your time. Her work schedule is more regimented now, and she no longer has the flexibility of time she had while in school. However, she does spend her time out of the office more deliberately than before. She noted, “since your time is limited, you think more about how you want to spend your time, and who you want to spend it with.” This resonated with the others on the panel, who agreed that there is more freedom after graduation to be more intentional and selective about making out-of-office plans.