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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

"A clear and positive influence"

Michelle Vasiliadis '21 | Chicago, IL Major | Computer Science & Business

I’ve always been a very ambitious woman- knowing what I want and always going after it. I hold myself to high standards and strive to produce results that will achieve maximum value.

After attending LSV, two quotes have really resonated with me. One coming from Ryan Oksenhorn at Zipline, who said everybody wants to impact the world with the work they’re doing, but not everyone is really thinking about if it’s creating a positive or negative impact. I tend to be an advocate for everything in technology, but I’ve come to realize the impact smartphones, computers, and other technically advanced items have could possibly be society’s downfall. More and more generations are becoming attached to their phones, so in turn communities and relationships aren’t being nurtured enough to create real connections, and I think that is very detrimental. Now I know that when I’m choosing a field to work in, the technology I’m deploying must have a clear and positive influence.

Sara Newman, a Senior Solutions Engineer at Slack, said that a lot of companies ask what you are planning to do in the first 90 days you start working for them. Sara feels like that imposes the idea that you need to contribute something quite meaningful almost right away. But, what we really should be doing is taking that time to listen and digest the information we’re gathering around us. I am vocal about a lot of my opinions, but I understand that as a young person I still have a lot to learn, and listening is the first step in doing that. Already, I was surprised by how much more information I absorbed and retained during our sessions by just letting others ask their questions that I would have never thought of.

Lastly, I thought Robby Kwok, SVP of People at Slack, really wrapped together the 3 things I will be focusing on during my career from here on out. Play: when I go to my job, it shouldn’t feel like work, but instead feel like I’m playing with things that excite me. Purpose: knowing why I’m doing what I’m doing and that it’s creating a positive impact. Potential: continuing to strive to reach my full capacity by listening to others and applying that knowledge to reach my goals going forward.

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