The most memorable and impactful aspects of this course were:
- The lack of a defined path in the alums’ careers. It was incredibly reassuring to learn how people’s lives had diverged from what they imagined it would during their senior year at Duke. As someone who doesn’t have a clear definition of what they want to do, it was reassuring to learn how flexible career paths could be. Regardless of the experience, it taught them more about what they wanted to do. I think the important takeaway is to realize when you aren’t providing value or receiving value from a job, then it’s time to move on, and moving on is ok.
- The importance of mentors. I realized throughout this course how few mentors I have and with the few how little I remain in contact. I realized this is an area that is important to work on for me to learn from others’ experiences. I started by reaching out to Sue Harnett, who runs the women in tech program I’m apart of who is a mentor to me but I’d like to work to deepen that relationship.
I think the concept of the leadership map, or less generally the concept of self-reflection, is worth using. As I leave Duke and enter the real world, the leadership map helped me set clear goals of what I want to get out of the next 2 years at BNY Mellon, what my strengths are and what I need to work on as a leader. I know in 5 years my leadership map will look entirely different and even in 1 year I’ll have more insight on what I want out of my path and future as a leader. Therefore, I think creating more leadership maps is absolutely worth using and something I hope to continue to do.
Change models are something I think are worth using in the future, as well. It helps clear up what the goal is, why it is important, and what the best path to get there is. By clearly identifying the answer to these questions throughout the semester it helped me focus on how to achieve a goal. This was the case for my initial benefit project, the summer learning kit we created and for my first benefit proposal. I hope to use this strategy with future goals.
Throughout the semester I’ve changed in thinking about how I can live with intention. It’s not enough to want to have a career with a mission in the future, but I need to think how I can most effectively take the actions to get there. Creating a one, three and ten year plan helped me figure out when exactly I want to work on a women’s initiative at work and when I want to start thinking about being a teacher or somehow helping the education system.
I’ve changed in how I think about relationships as well. This course was the first course I have taken where I got to know each student, TA, and professor on a personal level. In past courses and experiences, especially when I go in having a friend, I tend to stay in my comfort zone and spend time with the people I know. I’m leaving this course having learned about 17 other people’s life experiences and creating a genuine friendship with a few as well. This has been incredibly insightful, rewarding and has taught me the importance of branching out and getting to know the different people in my various communities.