Every year, members of the Wharton MBA class take a “Tech Trek” tour where they travel to the Silicon Valley and meet with tech startups.
The startup company I work for held a reception for them to come to our office. Our CEO went over our product and then we did a panel style discussion with them, answering their questions. Questions like what types of backgrounds we had that lead us to where we are today, as well as some other more role specific questions.
It was an honor for me to be able to chat and discuss these things with the next generation of tech leaders.
Later that day, I had a message in my LinkedIn inbox from an entry level employee in the tech industry. He told me that he started following my blog posts and my LinkedIn posts back when he was an undergrad at Cornell university and said that I was one of his top sources for guidance and inspiration.
I’m always happy to receive messages like this and on that particular day, reading that message right after talking with the Wharton MBA class, I realized two things. First is the power that a socially connected community has. The second thing I realized is that at some point during my ten years in the tech industry, I became an industry veteran. While it does make me feel a bit old, it’s still a pretty cool feeling.
The generation that is coming into the industry now, will be the future leaders of tech. I have seen that this generation values and appreciates hearing stories of triumphs, failures, and the experiences learned through them both. They are willing to learn from the mistakes of the people who came before them. Because of that, I think they are already off to a great start!