Day 17: "Control What You Can Control"

Fred Stillman 2014 1215 Comments

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Our third Workshop Tuesday series was hosted by none other than MSBA Co-Founder, and a man who has quickly become a friend to us all, David Oestreicher. David has served as a manager for the American Collegiate Intramural Sports (ACIS) organization, worked as a Global Business Development Manager for the NBA, started his own consulting firm (DOC), and currently serves as President of Rec*It, an app that services all your intramural sporting needs. Would it surprise you if I said that David accomplished all of this before his 30th birthday? For those who know David, the answer would be “no.” The reason for that is because David found a way to channel his passion for sports towards a goal: in this case, it was creating his own company to fit his entrepreneurial nature. He consistently preaches to “control what you can control” regarding your personal and professional life.

While David’s conversation with us encompassed many valuable lessons, such as the most important skill to have in business (it’s sales by the way), as well as how to improve those sales skills, it was his discussion about working hard to control what we can control and about focusing on a particular passion that really resonated with me. One of the main reasons I applied to MSBA was to find a way to merge my passions for sports and business. I just needed some guidance on how to execute that plan. I found that guidance through David. His suggestion was that we all take some time to sit and think, by ourselves. During that time, we should determine our goals, think about who we are as people, including what our strengths and weaknesses are, and where our passions truly lie. If we take the time to do that, it will help lead us down a path that will ultimately prove to be successful since it aligns not only with our skills, but with something we love doing.

The other part of David’s talk that caught my attention was his focus on telling us to “control what we can control.” While he admitted it sounds a little corny, the lessons it imparts are absolutely true. There are not a lot of things that we MSBAers currently have control over in our professional lives (after all, we’re just interns) and the same will be true once we join the workforce in entry-level positions. What we do have control over is cultivating our reputation as talented, hard-working, detail oriented, hirable business professionals who will have a positive impact in any organization we join. We can control our appearance, how we interact with co-workers, our work ethic, and our personality. Those soft-skills are so important towards one’s success, especially in an industry where everyone knows everyone and a bad reputation can kill a career. Never underestimate the value that being a good co-worker adds and remember that someone is always watching and taking note of those people.

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