The Haller Global Honors Fellowship Program has been outstanding and impactful to my personal and professional development. In regards to my professional development, I learned a lot about asking important questions and active listening. At our site visits in Pittsburgh and Dublin, I was able to ask meaningful questions that allowed me to talk with the speakers after they were done with their presentations. This was my way of showing that I was listening and paying attention to everything they said and looking for personal interaction. All together, in 10 site visits, I utilized note-taking to be able to remember all of the information that was shared. From an active listening perspective, I used what I learned in Pittsburgh at the DoOrder Investor dinner. At this dinner, Justin Keating (an investor in DoOrder) did not want to talk about business the whole time and wanted to meet the students. I knew this was the case because he did not seem the most interested when business was brought up. After discussions about Irish culture, traveling, and our experiences so far, he was more willing to address some of our business questions. Without active listening, I would not have picked up on this. My overall professional takeaway is to listen before speaking and ask as many meaningful questions as possible. This has served me well as I have personally connected with many exciting leaders in Pittsburgh and Dublin.
My Personal development takeaway is focused on team building. At times in the program, I found it difficult to reach a group consensus on certain topics. In recognition of this, I tried my best to offer more project-based group activities so that we could integrate our project. While this sometimes worked, the group project felt more individualized than a group. In the future, I plan to address this by stating what I need from a group as soon as we start working and then determining how that fits into everyone’s working style. If we are all presenting, I view it as more beneficial if we have time to come together before the project deadline. This ensures time to practice and bounce ideas off one another. Luckily our group was easy to work with, but this small improvement could have made a big difference. In the future, I look forward to implementing this strategy I have now learned. There is no specific approach to group work, but addressing my group needs first and offering ample time to work and come together will undoubtedly lead to success.
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