Through intentional efforts to immerse myself in various situations, relationships and groups I’ve become highly adaptable within virtually any environment.
Since graduating high school in 2016, I lived, and thrived in 3 different countries. In Bali, Indonesia I taught English for 10 weeks with no training and ended up leading 3 different classes on my own. By the end of the 10 weeks, I was training the teachers that were to replace me after I left. In San Francisco, I was thrown together with a group of highly independent, diverse people close in age to me and learned to work both collaboratively and independently to complete projects and develop my own skill set. And in Toronto, Canada I took an immersive, 10-week course where I learned to both lead and follow people who were up to 30 years older than me.
While I’m proud of what I learned and accomplished in each of these situations, I also cherish the close relationships I formed with people from all over the world. Through these relationships, I continue to learn the importance of adapting to different cultures, languages, socioeconomic backgrounds and age ranges.
Anyone who knows me well will say that I'm a person who will take risks and try new things. I’m not afraid to get out of my comfort zone because I believe doing so is one of the best ways to grow and I approach new situations with an open mind.
The best example of this mindset is how and why I decided - at the age of 15 - to self-direct my own education instead of going to a traditional college. I read a Seth Godin manifesto my Dad sent me called “Stop Stealing Dreams” one Saturday and decided at that moment that I wasn’t going to be like everyone else and go to college. Throughout my 4 years of high school, I was constantly challenged by friends, parents of friends, teachers, family members and acquaintances that I was making a bad decision that would have long-term negative consequences. I never wavered. Out of 550 people in my high school graduating class, I was the only person who chose to direct my own education and I’m thriving as a result.
I will not shy away from a good challenge and I’m not afraid to fail.
I’ve never been a passive learner, but rather I’m a highly intentional learner with a developed ability to seek opportunities to gain knowledge or experience.
Within any experience (work, travel, classroom, etc.) I not only focus on completing the task at hand, but I seek to learn in ways that I’ve noticed are not obvious to others. For example, while waiting tables I’m not just focused on serving food and drinks, I intentionally work on my public speaking and charisma by practicing my elevator pitch when people ask “Are you in school?” During my coursework in Toronto, I not only listened to my instructors and applied what they taught me, I approached the most honest instructor and insisted that she give me the harshest possible critiques to push me beyond my limits. While I learned to speak some German in high school, I continued my learning on my own and am now close to fluent. I decided I wanted to learn how the stock market works so I set up an account on my own and bought some stock. As I focus on learning as much as I can about UX and UI, I proactively email people all over the world to ask for and provide design tips.
Simply put, I love to learn and I don’t wait for it to happen. I make it happen.