I was home from college for Spring Break contemplating what to do for a summer job.
Prior to then, I’d been a waiter at a couple local restaurants and had worked at a car wash for a few years in high school. Sure I’d done well academically, but to say I was inexperienced professionally was an understatement.
My parents were loving and supportive, but they didn’t have the professional connections I now enjoy.
Mom and I were “surfing” the Internet (the old dial up screeching kind…) and she asked: “why don’t you email a lawyer at a big law firm and ask for an internship?”
I said: “no WAY mom. I can’t just email.”
She had a point.
So I visited the website of the one Big Law firm I knew in Houston and looked at the pictures of the lawyers. The second guy looked nice, so I decided he was the one.
I wrote an email mentioning I was interested in law, had good grades and asked whether his firm ever had interns.
I felt foolish and expected never to hear back.
But the next day he wrote saying they had an internship program and was I interested?
Mom was right. Again :-)
That internship changed my life.
I went downtown to the big office building and learned how to be a professional. To show up on time, act the part, do good work.
That experience paved the way the next summer’s investment banking internship, which led to NYC and a successful career on Wall Street.
I guess I had a “summer up”; when a famous lawyer took a chance on me and changed my life.
Since then I’ve had other folks take chances on me: my first job in investment banking. My first job on the buyside. My first startup experience…
As I think about it: life has been a continuous series of “Year's Up” and I’m forever grateful to those who have helped me along the way.
And that’s one reason I always reply to email :-).