The following questions make up the written portion of Project You:
1. Describe your childhood fantasy career.
In childhood, I wanted to be an astronaut. Blasting off from earth into space and doing science experiments, building space stations, and floating around seemed very glamorous and exciting.
2. What would you consider the "defining accomplishment" of your life so far?
I’m a very ‘what have you done lately’ type of person, so my admission into the UT MBA program is my proudest accomplishment lately. That accomplishment has been achieved by the cumulative result of other past accomplishments, my graduation from Texas A&M with a BBA in Accounting, getting my job, my promotion at work, achieving National Merit Scholar to enable me to go to Texas A&M, honor role at high school, those types of things all build upon one another. At Nederland High School I was placed in the honors program, and graduated in the top ten percent of my class. More importantly, my academic scores and test scores on the PSAT and SAT earned me recognition as a National Merit Scholar, and the opportunity to attend Texas A&M University. Without the Lechner Fellowship and the National Merit Scholarships I was given, I would not have been able to attend Texas A&M University.
3. What did you learn from the BCII? (about 100 words)
I took the test as part of my benefits from the placement agency that came along with my severance benefits from my old job. I took advantage of all the career tools they offered, and spoke with their career counselors even though I knew I was going to grad school so that I could further refine what career paths would be a good fit for me upon graduation. The thing I was most surprised about was that legal types of work were a strong match for me. Although I enjoy the components of legal work, I don’t really see the American legal system as something that I could feel good working in, so perhaps I should have considered working in law in some other country. The other components just reinforced my beliefs on what I thought I was good at and would enjoy doing.
4. What kinds of activities, tasks, projects, etc. do you enjoy doing for their own sakes? (3 sentences max.)
I enjoy playing games, especially strategy boardgames, video games, and just interacting with a small group of friends in some sort of game. Poker is also a hobby of mine, but something that I enjoy in the company of friends.. I also enjoy trivia games as I seem to always impress myself with my knowledge of strange subjects.
5. The most significant influence on my career plans has been ...
Upon graduation from high school, I immediately decided to become an aerospace engineer. My next several academic years were very challenging, and I particularly enjoyed the classes that involved learning about computers and programming. When I started to seek out co-op positions that would enable me to earn work experience and money to continue my college education, I learned that the aerospace industry was in serious decline and the prospects of a good job after graduation in that field were slim. Coupled with my inability to grasp the higher math I had taken to the degree that I could apply it to my courses forced me to reconsider my chosen career path and chose accounting.
6. What does "success" mean to you? or What makes a life "successful"?
A successful person is one who doesn’t live paycheck to paycheck and has enough money to live comfortably. More importantly a successful person is one that everyone agrees that they are better off for having known and interacted with..
7. List three books (or films) that have influenced your view of life.
Recently the films Lost in Translation and Garden State have made me re-evaluate my life. They deal with alienation and finding or rediscovering yourself, and I think that it is important to periodically do this. Both films feature protagonists that find themselves in a rut and are afraid to break out because they are used to what they are doing, and by outside influences are able to look at their life from the outside and take that information and make changes. Another influence is from Man of La Mancha (a Don Quixote musical) when he states that ‘maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it ought to be.’ Those are important lessons to me because I’m cynical and risk adverse, and remembering those lessons helps to counteract those tendencies.
8. What have you learned about life from some historical figure you admire? (100 words)
John “Pete” Rabalais, my late grandfather, was the most gentle, patient person I have ever known. I have fond memories of the few times he brought me to elementary school, dropped me off in the morning, and then waited in the car six hours until we got out of school. I never saw him angry, and I never saw him afraid. He was a good man that enjoyed talking to people and giving them his opinion of things. He was a real ‘salt of the earth’ type of man. I learned patience and reliability from him because he was a walking example of those virtues.
9. Choose a mentor from your past and ask what she thinks the single most important thing in life is.
I talked to an old work friend and former supervisor of mine (also a UT alumni) about going to grad school and she was very excited for me, as she was the one that got me interested in attending McCombs School of Business. The advice she had for me was not to get bogged down in school, but to enjoy the time I had there and to stop and smell the flowers occasionally, and make sure to go out with my friends even if school work had to suffer. She said the most important thing in life is good friends, ones you make and can rely on for the rest of your life. You’re never poor if you have friends.
10. Describe a career path that you can get excited about.
I’d like to own my own small business. I’d like to interact with people, be in the service industry, and do something that allows me to use my creative energy and have fun at the same time. I’ve looked at opening my own small coffee house, ice cream place, or I would love to be able to have something like the Alamo Drafthouse. I could book movies that interested the ‘weird’ niche market and stay current on what the latest movies the young college crowd was interested in, as well as booking talent to perform at my place.
11. Describe how your dream career compares with your Myers-Briggs personality profile.
My career matches up very favorably with my Myers-Briggs profile, as I’m INTJ, which means I’m a mastermind that likes to run and organize things from behind the scenes.
12. Identify and describe someone who is currently doing your dream career.
Paul Mitchell Bonarrigo owns the Messina Hof winery in Bryan, and I had the great fortune to be able to talk to him a few times while I was working in Bryan. He owns his own business, and he has a passion for what he does. He gets up early each morning, inspects his fields and his operations, then spends a good portion of the day interacting with his customers, tends his business administration in the afternoon, and spends the evenings with his family. He’s been very successful, and is a great gentleman to talk too, but most importantly he realizes that family is the most important part of his life, so he’s glad he gets to work with his family so closely.