The following is a part of a series authored by members of Groove's Spring Intern Team. Witnessing the challenges faced by many women who desire to invest in startups, but who are also either intentionally kept out or passively ignored by many fund managers, Allie, Brianna, and Kiley have set out to better understand and resolve the barriers faced by women investors.
As a part of this series, the team will cover the many facets that ultimately lead to one's interest in and ability to invest, including a career, general financial well-being, and exposure to venture investing. Please enjoy as we learn alongside these incredible women.
As a college student, I wholeheartedly understand the confusion that comes with trying to decide what I would like to do with my professional life. Everything from choosing a major to applying for internships seems overwhelming. How do I know what I want to do with my career when I am only 20-years-old?
Enter Diane Rucker, a well-established innovator and ecosystem builder, who I recently spoke with to discuss my challenges with this topic. I was expecting to meet with a professional who had found their niche in their career and someone who was going to give me advice on how to do the same. What I experienced was totally different.
“Try everything, get outside of your comfort zone, and take all of the opportunities that come your way. That’s how you will discover what you like.”
“Take risks, try something that you don’t think is exactly what you want. When you take a risk, you sometimes find something better than what you expected. Or on the other hand, you realize that you don’t want to do it. Either way, you gain valuable insight.”
“Recognize that your niche will change and give yourself the freedom to keep pursuing your passion as it evolves.”
I think many students, including myself, put this intense pressure on themselves to decide on a career path, and follow its correlating trajectory. Instead of putting so much pressure on ourselves, however, maybe we should pour more energy into exploration? Maybe we should instead be focused on continuing to learn and grow?
After talking with Diane, I realized that I don’t have to decide what I want to do with my life when I am 20-years-old. Heck, I don’t have to decide what I want to do with my life when I am 50. The decision I need to make is to continue to learn from my experiences. This is what will truly help me discover my passions, and what will determine what I do with my time.
This doesn’t apply to just students, either. Career-established individuals should continue to learn from experiences and explore what they like. After all, passions do evolve, and, as Diane stated, “no one wants to be stuck in a job that they don’t like for years”. Thank you to Diane for speaking with me on this topic; if it isn’t evident enough, I took away some exceptionally valuable lessons.