It is the New Year; time for a retrospective look at the past in order to get ready for the future.  It’s been four months since I joined the TalentBridge program, a good time to take stock of what I learned, what I need to learn, what I enjoyed, what I must change, strengths and weaknesses.  Here is what I discerned.

My work at Gallium has been a pleasant experience so far.  My major project is writing a white paper for Gallium.  At first I thought “Ha, no worries, an 8 page paper?  After years of school, I’ve written more than my fair share of much longer and more technical papers.  Should be a piece of cake”.  But it has been more challenging than that, which I’m thankful for, because I am learning a lot.  There is a fine art to writing a technical paper whose purpose is not only to inform, but more importantly, to sell.   It must be technical yet conversational, informative but not dry, convincing without being conceived as marketing hype.  It’s an art that I am slowly trying to get a hand of. Needless to say, I’m learning a lot, which is the point of the TBridge program; and with the great mentors that I have been set up with at Gallium, I will continue to do so.   

Through the OCRI component of TalentBridge, I have been able to attend many networking events and seminars. All have been interesting; some have been hugely informative, some not as much.  My favorite has been a TiE event with Michael Hughes discussing strategic tips of networking.  Because what’s the point of meeting people if you will never see them again?   There is a difference between socializing and networking and Michael brought those differences to light.  My aim for the second half of the TB program is to put these learned tools to practice.

One area that was not as successful as I would have liked is student outreach. There has been a lack of interest from student groups in the past four months to get together and discuss possible joint ventures between TBridge and their respective organizations.  This could have been due to many reasons but one specifically was very interesting.  I asked an engineering student why he thought more people were not lining up to get into TB.  It is such a great opportunity, that the program should be selling itself.   He gave me a very interesting response.  He said that he himself had heard of TBridge and was going to apply.  But when he spoke to his friends, they said “Where is the catch?  No program could be that good.  They will probably set you up with an employer and then take a cut of your paycheck”.  

So it turns out that TB is too good a program to sell itself.  People are wary of where the catch is.  Being in the program I can tell you that there is no catch.   It really is as good as it sounds.  It’s a program set up to help you develop into a more successful entrepreneur.  And my goal for the next semester is to get that very real message across.  Here’s to the New Year.

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