Making futures from scratch
Soenke moderated the panel, taking questions from students and asking his own. He led the panelists through reflections on how they began their working lives, important lessons they picked up during their journeys in the business world, the best ways to stand out in the interviewing process, and even their most significant and instructive failures.
The panelists brought unique perspectives, each having worked in different areas of business and taken distinct paths to their current roles. Dornan has climbed the ranks within the same parent company her entire career and focuses on international business in her role, while Pettaway and Rippe have repeatedly changed jobs and companies in the banking and marketing fields, respectively, to find new challenges and build new skills along the way. Gross, meanwhile, left a developing corporate role with Boeing to become an entrepreneur, founding three start-up companies and advancing at Clutch Global Logistics.
Pettaway spun thought-provoking metaphors that helped make his guidance relatable, encouraging students to think ahead and take chances, or in other words, “see what’s around the corner” and “look for buildings on fire and run in.” He also advised them to “always leave the house to put forth the best version of yourself.”
Dornan and Gross shared the key attributes they look for when hiring—initiative, curiosity and communication. Rippe emphasized attention to detail, telling the students to be sure to specifically sell themselves during interviews and follow up afterward. She stressed that the key to organization is planning ahead and looking at each workday strategically.