Mat Reynders discussed his journey from a confused college student to a successful businessman. He stressed the fact that we must constantly be doing research, asking questions, going to career fairs, and networking with experienced individuals. He also emphasized the need to be open to change, take risks, and always be ‘thinking bigger’.
Two other discussion points really stood out to me. First, Mat explained his first job at Sears as a store manager. He described the excellent, intensive training program offered to recent college graduates, in which taught him many useful skills that he has used throughout his entire career. This made me start thinking about the internship that I will be participating in this summer. It made me consider how I must choose a business that is really going to give something back to me, rather than interning for a place that just wants free labor. Second, Mat mentioned a trusted mentor as a key factor in his success. He even discussed established mentoring programs that many companies offer, in which I was not aware of. Another great take-away point from this discussion was using proper etiquette with a mentor. Some tips of advice were to have a theme for every meeting, do your ‘homework’, and brief your mentor on points of discussion before the meeting. It is important to help create an environment where the mentor is really enjoying their ability to lead others, and not feeling as if they are giving with no appreciation in return.
Overall, I enjoyed this presentation.