Informational Interview: Opportunities

During the summer, I connected with a finance executive who worked at Stanley Black & Decker (Black & Decker’s parent company) in Portland. We connected over our mutual interest in the quantitative aspect of finance and the commercial side of operations. He talked with me about how he faced numerous obstacles in his careers but they turned out to be opportunities and how these opportunities wouldn’t reveal themselves unless you’re always on your ‘A game’. He recounted a story about how he once got a job offer by talking to the executive who was sitting next to him on the plane. Another opportunity was when at his current firm his manager resigned, and his manager too! This led to him taking control for the entire subdivision for a period leading to a permanent promotion. One important piece of advice he offered was to make the most of my early years during college and when I’m just out of college. A lot of firms value a fresh set of eyes to see inefficiencies in the business and enact change. He also encouraged me to brush up my skill set in term of Excel, and leadership development programs. “Planning is a really important tool. Give me 8 hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend 6 hours sharpening the ax.”

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