Flintridge Prep proudly hosted a Four Under Forty Panel Discussion and Networking Event on campus for our graduates of the last decade.
Moderated by Hanna Kang Lim '98 and Mark Lim ‘97, the lively panel of alumni shared insights on identifying career interests and cultivating them into career opportunities, the importance of networking, and how to shift gears and overcome failure. Immediately following the panel discussion, attendees networked with each other as well as several other alumni mentors from a variety of career fields. Here are some takeaways from the panel discussion.
FRANK ARTHOFER ‘03
sports and media consultant for Boston Consulting Group
High school persona: I don’t think I was ever once on this stage as a student for any reason whatsoever.
On curiosity: Intellectual curiosity in the business world is really important, and something that you should take with you for your entire career.
On luck: Luck is having the wherewithal to understand that opportunities present themselves every day and being aware that you need to take advantage of those moments. It’s also understanding that there is your “dream job” and there is the practical reality that the world will accommodate.
On seizing the moment: I sent a letter and the guy wrote back to me and we sat down for coffee. Next thing I knew, he was introducing me to my first boss.
ISABELLA LORES-CHAVEZ PhD ‘08
associate curator of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
High school persona: Let’s call me the enthusiastic dabbler.
On inspiration: I was transformed here at Prep by Vanessa Walker-Oakes and the AP Art History class that I took my senior year.
On relationships: Networking in a humanities profession is also totally key, though don’t think of those relationships as “networking.” People in your life may have some kind of guidance to offer. Showing that you’re interested in that is kind of a thing unto itself.
On the benefits of failure: You will eventually fail at something over and over again, whether it’s in your professional life or personal life. I had a really big setback in the middle of graduate school. It was also a huge opportunity for me to liberate myself from the expectations that I’ve had of myself. Learn to fail and learn to love yourself through failure.
On self-compassion: I’ve learned that you can really love something and hate it on any given day. Don’t panic if you feel unsure about something you’re pursuing. Think of having that kind of flexibility with yourself. It is a kindness to yourself.
NICK LOUI ‘08
tech entrepreneur and founder/CEO of PeakMetrics
High school persona: I was a little all over the place.
On curiosity: When you’re put in a particular situation, it’s so important to have intellectual curiosity, to be able to share your perspective and share basic knowledge.
On finding a community: As an entrepreneur, I have a crew of five or six Prep entrepreneurs that talk every month. We talk about what’s going on in our businesses and we help each other. We’re all in these different stages of building our companies. It’s about finding your community, finding your heroes, finding people that you can talk to.
On the Flintridge Prep community: We’re all really, really lucky we went to Prep. The people around you are all here to help. And we have this very special community. Just this community alone is special, and the people around you are a great starting point.
ISABELLA WEISS ‘11
senior brand manager at ATLUS for SEGA of America, Inc.
High school persona: Somewhere between one of the nerdy kids and conversely, somebody who loves being on stage.
On resilience: I went to school with the intent of becoming a professional violinist. I wasn’t progressing. I threw myself into the practice, and I was practicing for eight hours a day plus. I was miserable. That process made me realize this was not the right career for me.
On opportunities: Networking is the reason that I’m in the place that I am today, truthfully, and it was actually a Prep mom who helped me get my foot in the door at my first corporate job. Every single person you meet in life can be a connection to help you further down the road. When somebody comes knocking for an informational interview, say yes. On the benefits of failure: When we do have a setback or failure, it is not the failure itself. It’s your response to it. Do you throw a tantrum and try to push the blame off on somebody else? Alternatively, you can dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and say, okay, why did this go wrong? And what can I change?
If you’d like to offer your guidance and experience, join the Alumni Volunteer Network by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.