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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

"The activities we did today were some of the toughest."

Noah Jalango '21 | Arts Entrepreneurship Major | Journalism Hometown | Shaker Heights, OH

Today, the LehighSiliconValley cohort convened in the Lehigh@NasdaqCenter space for a day of learning and self-reflection. As with every other day, the group was able to ask questions to speakers with a variety of interesting backgrounds—including leaders from Adobe and Alaska Airlines. What was different about today, however, was that we also had to ask questions of and about ourselves. Prior to today we had to take the CliftonStrengths assesment that revealed our unique top five strengths. My top five strengths in order, for example, are Adaptability, Empathy, Futuristic, Strategic, and Relator. On paper, today did not seem to be as busy a day as the past few have been, but the activities we did today were some of the toughest.

One of the tasks we were challenged with was to understand what role our strengths played in our individual lives. To put this into context: my number one strength was adaptability. The CliftonStrengths description of this strength stated that I have a “go with the flow” mentality and that I take each day as it comes, dealing with problems on the fly. I understood that this mindset was very true to me, but I had to think even deeper than that. I had to think of an example of when this strength manifested itself in my life. My senior year of high school, for instance, I wanted to become an engineer. Second semester of that year I took physics and realized engineering was not for me, and I went into freshman year of college with an open mind and no real plan of what I wanted to do. If I had tried to plan out my entire college and career track my senior year, based on the idea of wanting to become an engineer, I no doubt would have struggled through all 4 years at Lehigh. Freshman year I had the freedom to take each day as it comes, and now I am a journalism major.

The second challenge we were tasked with was to describe an asset that we have using an example from our lives. The asset I came up with was that I have the ability to not become attached to things I create if they are not good enough. I love to make music in my free time, and I have made hundreds of beats and instrumentals. When I first started out making music, I was really hesitant to ever delete or scrap anything I made even if it was not good enough, because I thought each track had potential. Over time I realized that I would never finish these bad projects, and that I was merely keeping them for sentimental reasons. Now, I am able to delete a track I make if I know that I can make something better and move on without looking back. This asset, I believe, will be extremely applicable in the workplace in terms of staying efficient and being willing to forget the past and look towards the future. Overall, it was an extremely interesting day and a great way to end the core track program!

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