Tag: former

A former undocumented immigrant who rose to a $340,000 position at Goldman Sachs shares her career advice

Julissa Arce

Julissa Arce was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico when she worked her way up from an intern to a vice president at Goldman Sachs.

She’s written a book about her life, and shared her strategy for success at the Wall Street investment bank in an op-ed for CNBC.com.

Arce spent seven years at Goldman working in structured derivatives for the private wealth division.

She began as a college intern making $10,000 for the summer. By the time she was 27, she was promoted to vice president, making $340,000 per year.

She explains her strategy:

Once I was at Goldman, I created another plan to turn my internship into a full time job. Once I had the full-time offer, I turned that plan into, “How to become the first Hispanic woman partner at Goldman.” I came up with that plan after reading books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” ” 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” and others.

My strategy was:

1. Check in with my bosses periodically on my progress

2. Set and receive expectations for compensation

3. Be intentional about promotions

4. Self-promote (something many people are afraid to do) and 5) Be flexible.

She recommends sitting down with your boss at the beginning of the year to go over your your progress and goals. Then, in the summer, she suggests checking in with your boss on your progress, asking questions such if you’re on track for a promotion or a raise.

It’s smart and simple advice.

By the end of the year, your boss can refer to the goals that you outlined. At the very least, your boss can look back on the goals you gave him or her and measure your performance and give promotions and bonuses accordingly.

Arce left Goldman in 2011 and, eventually, Wall Street all together. She’s a resident of the US, and now a writer, speaker, and social justice advocate. This September, she’s publishing her own memoir, “My (Underground) American Dream.”

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A former McKinsey partner says a 2-minute exercise can get you back to productivity when you’ve hit a wall at work

caroline webb

There are times when you’re simply overwhelmed at work. You’ve got so much on your plate that none of it seems like it can be finished, and so none of it gets finished as you sit there panicking.

Whether it’s the end of the day and you’re struggling with decision fatigue or fear of failure has your heart racing, there’s a quick way to collect yourself so that you can resume being productive, says Sevenshift CEO, McKinsey senior adviser, and former McKinsey partner Caroline Webb.

Her new book, “How to Have a Good Day,” is a collection of best practices she’s learned in her 16 years as a consultant.

It includes a simple mindfulness technique that you can do in as little as a couple minutes or stretch out, if you’d prefer. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit or stand as comfortably as you can, moving to a quiet place, if necessary. Place your feet squarely on the floor and either close your eyes or look down.
  • Focus your thoughts with one or all of the following: Slowly take a deep breath in and then exhale deeply several times, focusing on the way your stomach rises; do a mental scan of your body, from your toes to the top of your head, noting without thinking how each part feels; count down from 100 to 0.
  • Pay attention to your thoughts, and if your mind wanders, don’t become anxious. Recognize that it’s normal behavior and refocus your attention.

Webb writes that if your panic hits you in the middle of a meeting, you can try an amended version of the technique, taking just one or two deep breaths or counting down from 10.

She interviewed a digital marketing startup founder she refers to only as Anthony who told her he uses a version of this exercise any time his mind starts feeling overloaded and he runs the risk of making decisions that will harm his business. When his stress becomes unmanageable, he’ll ask himself “Do I want to feel like this?” (no, he doesn’t) and will do the breathing exercise.

“It starts to reengage rational thought, without fail,” Anthony told Webb. “It’s like pinching myself in a dream.”

SEE ALSO: A former McKinsey partner says a 5-minute exercise every Friday can make you more successful at work

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This former ad agency CEO says the ad industry has 3 major delusions holding it back

bob hoffman

Bob Hoffman is the former owner and CEO of ad firm Hoffman/Lewis. After 22 years of experience with his own ad firm, Hoffman is convinced that “the marketing and advertising industries are currently in state of great confusion.”

Hoffman has become known as the “Ad Contrarian.” He sold his firm in 2013 and since then the caustic, but funny ex-ad man has made a name for himself in critiquing the ad business.

Speaking at the Shift 2016 conference in London on Tuesday, he said that there are three major misconceptions clouding the industry: “All of these delusions have one thing in common: they take a little bit of truth and then they distort it and they exaggerate it and they torture it to the point at which it does our marketers more harm than good.”

1. The brand delusion

The first mistake advertisers make is thinking that other people actually care about their brands.

“Creating a strong brand should be every marketer’s primary objective and the highest role of advertising is to create a strong brand. But our industry has taken these truths and twisted them into silly fantasies,” Hoffman said. “There’s a widespread belief in our business that consumers are in love with brands. That consumers want to have brand experiences and brand relationships and be personally engaged with brands and read branded story telling.”

One consequence of “all this baloney” is that the industry has spent almost 10 years and “billions of dollars exhorting people to join the conversation of our brands.” But it’s still unclear what that conversation is.

Hoffman continued: “People have shaky jobs and unstable families, they have illnesses, they have debts, they have washing machines that don’t work, they have funny things growing on their backs, they have kids that are unhappy, they have a lot of things to care deeply about. It’s very unwise to believe that they care deeply about our batteries, our wet wipes and our chicken strips.”

2. The digital delusion

The next false belief that Hoffman says is damaging the ad industry is the over- exaggeration about the importance of digital.

He said: “As a result of all our reliance on digital technology, we have made a very incautious leap of logic. We have assumed that digital technology has made irrelevant everything that came before it. For over 10 years, we’ve been hearing about how a digital revolution was going to change everything. It was going to kill advertising, it was going to kill traditional marketing, it was going to kill everything in its path.”

bob hoffmanHe added: “Just walk outside, it’s everywhere. It’s on every burger, every bus, every t-shirt, every bench, every theater ticket, every square inch of the f—— planet is covered in advertising.”

Hoffman then talked about ad fraud — the issue of marketers’ money being wasted because online ads are being served to bots rather than people —  and the other problems associated with display ads.

“Marketers are pouring more and more money into online advertising. They don’t know what they’re buying, they don’t know who they’re buying it from. They don’t know what they’re getting, they don’t know how much they’re paying. If there’s a better definition of being on Mars, I’d like to hear what it is,” he said.

3. The age delusion

The final problem Hoffman talked about was the “age delusion.” He thinks the advertising industry is far too concerned with grabbing young people’s attention, when, in reality, the most lucrative market is the over 50s.

“You know all the awesome millennials we see in car ads? In the US, people aged 75 to dead buy six times as many new cars as people aged 16 to 24.” He asked: “Do you really think it’s a good idea to avoid these people?”

While those over 50s tend to have much more spare money to spend than their sons and daughters, proportionally very little of ad firm’s budgets are targeted at the older generation.

Hoffman said: “According to [research company] Nielsen, people over 50 are the most valuable people in the history of marketing. In the US they are responsible for 50% of all consumer spending.” He added: “People over 50 control about 70% of the wealth of the US …  And yet people over 50 are the target of 10% of marketing activity in the US.”

After selling his firm three years ago, Hoffman admits he started to have more time, so he looked into whether there was a good reason for the massive focus on young people.

After finishing this research, he explained his results: “I’ve come to believe that most marketers target young people because they see everyone else doing it. And they assume that somewhere someone must know why we are doing this.”

Hoffman ended his presentation with the message: “The marketing industry has been spending too much time on another planet. We need to get back down to earth.”

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The unusual thing one CEO and former Yahoo exec does at the beginning of every job interview

lorna borenstein

As a job candidate in the hot seat, you’ll probably be the one doing most of the talking.

But if you’re interviewing with Lorna Borenstein, founder and CEO of Grokker, a company that creates online cooking, yoga, and fitness videos, that won’t necessarily be the case.

Borenstein — who previously held VP roles at Yahoo and eBay — told Adam Bryant of The New York Times that she starts every job interview by sharing her life stories.

She does this because her objective is always to help the candidate do as well as possible, she said. “I want the candidate to show their best self. And I think if youre generous, and you put them at ease by being somewhat vulnerable in opening up first, and modeling the behavior youre expecting, it really does put people at ease to let them show you who they are, and all that they can do. I think its a really poor interview style to try to catch people or trip them up.”

Borenstein said she wants the interviewee to know where she’s from and how she got to be where she is now — and then she wants to hear the same from them.

“I want to understand what makes you tick, what your competencies are, and then hear about examples of when you either got it right, or when you got it wrong, and what you learned from it,” she told Bryant. “I also want to understand why you really want to work here — what is it that we’re going to do for you, and what are you going to do for us? And I also want to understand your long-term aspirations.”

Read the full New York Times interview here. 

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