"I am so excited to see where the journey will take me."
Elene Amiranashivili '21 | New York, NY Major | Computer Science and Business
Today was the first full day of LehighSiliconValley and it was as action-packed, intense, and fascinating as promised! We spent our day at the Adobe office with some truly incredible and experienced speakers. I was endlessly jotting down lessons, mantras, and anecdotes from today’s guests and I wanted to share some of the ones I found the most impactful.
Our first speaker was Ann Lewnes, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Adobe. I was extremely excited to meet Ann because I was fortunate enough to hear Ann speak to my Women in Technology class last spring. Just like the first time, Ann did not disappoint. A quote that was really powerful and motivating to me was “earn your way every single day.” It was very effective coming from Ann because she is at the top of her career; Ann has clearly proven herself. However, I think the key to why Ann is so successful is because she continuously pushes herself and “earns her way.” As I approach my new semester, I want to use this quote to motivate myself. Day by day I want to push myself and become a better version.
Our next speaker was Maria Yap who is the vice president of digital imaging. Maria’s speech emphasized how life beyond college is “not a straight path” or “rungs on a ladder” and that it is in fact a circle. As a junior, I am in the process of searching for a summer internship and it has been an extremely stressful and high-pressured process. In this moment I often feel like life is linear and if I fail to get the “perfect” internship now, I fail my future. However, when someone as successful as Maria talks about how life is a circle of things that motivate you and bring you joy, the thoughts that immobilized me begin to encourage me. Maria stressed that the years we grow the most are the years that we are the most challenged. Therefore, instead of running away from challenges we must embrace them and learn from them. As I sat there listening to Maria speak, I became excited about what path my life will take and the unexpected twists and turns.
Finally, I was very moved listening to Tim Eades, CEO of vArmour, discuss the importance of being at the “corner of kind and smart.” The trait that I value and try to represent the most in life is kindness. However, I’ve been frequently told that kindness does not lead to success. In fact, a previous boss of mine had told me that I was “too nice.” I never wanted to believe him, but I was also an unexperienced 20-year-old – I don’t know any better! Therefore, hearing Tim, probably the most successful person I have ever met, discuss the merit of being kind was extremely rewarding. I will never doubt or question the importance of kindness again. On a very separate note, Tim also showed me that I desperately need to add the word “muppet” to my daily vocabulary.
Overall, I had an incredible time today and cannot believe the information I absorbed in such a short period of time. I feel so fortunate to be in the same room as so many intelligent speakers and thoughtful students. I am so excited to see where the journey will take me.