Traits to Success

February 7, 2013
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Student Reflection - February 6, 2013

I always find that the greatest lessons in life can be found in the most unexpected places. I didn’t make the trek to Parks College twelve hours ago expecting to learn something important –I came to compete. Today, however, I discovered that strength can be found in the midst of a challenge –even in the face of apparent disadvantage.

Just like every Wednesday, I showed up to the event with my usual partner and we immediately began looking to complete our team. It wasn’t long before an excited looking man jogged over to us, insisting that we take the stranger to his right as our third. We agreed, and walked over to our usual spot to become acquainted. It wasn’t long before our new friend timidly introduced himself and informed us that he was a Senior Accounting student. Admittedly, my heart sank at this news. “An Accountant in an innovation challenge?” I thought. “What luck…”

My admittedly narrow-minded predisposition against my new teammate quickly reversed as the challenge was announced. Truly, in a presentation where you are marketing the traits that will make you successful in the future, having a business-oriented teammate would prove invaluable. By the end of the challenge, this man’s experiences, unique skills, and contrasting viewpoints proved more invaluable than I could have ever imagined. Through our combined efforts, our final presentation was not only polished and professional, but also robust and multifaceted.

It is easy to judge a book by its cover. In fact, I did so more than once just over the course of today’s challenge. Looking back on how things turned out, I am overjoyed with the experience and how I grew because of it. Never again will I judge a person before getting to know who they are… just as I will never again look at Park’s College’s Innovation Challenge as anything less than an opportunity for personal growth.

Winning Reflection - Matt Coon

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