In Part Four of this five-part series, attendee Kevin Schatell explains what he learned from Katherine Shappley (pictured above).
Have you ever sat in the presence of a Facebook executive and heard her thoughts on building valuable connections? Me neither ... until the 1stFive summer intern reception. Katherine Shappley believes that connections are borderless. That idea is at the core of Facebook, which currently connects 1.4 billion people globally. Shappley explained Facebook's core values: Focusing on impact, being bold, moving fast, being open and building social value. Just being in the room, I could feel Shappley's passion. I could tell she believed wholeheartedly in these values.
Shappley stressed the importance of being unique. She encouraged us to think about what qualities make us irreplaceable. When she recruits and hires, Shappley interviews people for their skills and experience, but also considers whether a candidate would fit within Facebook's company culture.
In terms of pursuing a career in a connected world with endless opportunities, Shappley advised, "The how is certainly important, but you have to have the what." This really struck a chord in me as a young professional. It's intimidating -- and impossible -- to try and plan out exactly how you're going to get to where you want to be. I really took her advice to heart. The most important thing when building a career is focusing on the what. What do I value? What impact do I want to have?
Shappley concluded her presentation with more inspiring advice: Connections require accountability. Think about how you are communicating your reputation, because we are living in a world that's more transparent than ever. Additionally, you need to know when to have face-to-face conversations since there's nothing quite as powerful as looking into someone's eyes and communicating in person. And, respect people's time. Be efficient in your communication and think about how you can make the connection valuable and worthwhile for the other person. Lastly, find the people you want to work with, and remember: People over pixels.
It was obvious that Shappley, and Facebook as a whole, focus attention on people and on impact. That's a lesson I took to heart, and I think it's something we can all benefit from hearing.
Kevin Schatell is a student at the University of Georgia pursuing a degree in Mass Media Arts and a Certificate in Personal and Organizational Leadership. He was raised in Grayson, Georgia where he fostered his love for sweet tea, people and pop culture. He can typically be found leading tours of campus, interning at Seacrest Studios in Atlanta, producing his own web shows or simply admiring Ellen DeGeneres. This summer, he interns in production with Fusion (an ABC and Univision joint venture).
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