What’s The Story That Is Unapologetically You?

Credit: Myles Tan

Tell me about yourself.

This is the quintessential job interview question, and with that as our frame, we focus on our resume experiences and not what makes us unapologetically ourselves.

I’ve struggled to come up with a good answer to the question, until recently when I started thinking differently. I started thinking way back to childhood and asked myself: of the things that were relevant to me then, what is still relevant to me today? And what’s something that is unapologetically me? So here’s the answer I came up; it involves a story about me that not many people actually know. I hope you enjoy it.

Tell me about yourself.

A good story I can share about myself happened in first grade when my two best friends and I dreamed up this mythical species that we believed fell somewhere between the evolution of chimps and humans. We called these short chubby and hairless creatures “Pinkas”, and we started by writing stories and drawing comics of their adventures.

This translates to today because I still love being creative and writing stories — writing short stories, children’s stories, blog posts like these, and even press releases or marketing copy for the organizations I’ve worked for.

But my friends and I didn’t just stop with the comics and stories. We shared those stories with our schoolmates. We made “Pinka” artifacts and figurines out of paper clips and drawing faces on those pencil cap erasers, and we shared those as well. We were creating something that people wanted to be a part of and a dedicated group of “Pinka”-lovers quickly formed.

That’s relevant to who I am now because I still love bringing people together to be a part of something. I’ve been doing that in the after-school program I started and run called Project Passion, on Alternative Spring Break (ASB) service trips, and even with small pop-up events, like one I call “Froyo with Friends”.

Again, my 1st grade friends and I didn’t stop there. We created a whole culture around these creatures and our little group. We came up with nicknames and a language, devised roles for each other based on what we liked and were good at, and established a set of values.

And this matters to me because I love learning about and applying these elements of positive organizational practices to my group projects and to the organizations I work with.

So what does this show? It shows that I want to be some place where I can be creative, tell stories, bring people together, and do it all with a positive energy that is contagious.

Thanks for reading. What’s the story you want to share but maybe never have? What’s the story that is unapologetically you?

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