Reflecting on Crooked Careers

Many students are having to rapidly change their career and internship plans for Summer 2020. Opportunities are evolving or disappearing at a surprising rate due to the knowns and unknowns of COVID-19. In light of this, Shannon Clute (Director, The Hatchery, Emory Center for Innovation) and Ben Garrett (Innovation Programming and Operations Manager, The Hatchery) hosted a conversation about their own unusual career journeys, in hopes their experience could be illustrative and helpful. Shannon and Ben have both made significant sector transitions throughout their careers and have leaned heavily on innovation processes and mindsets to improve their career outcomes.

Shannon and Ben provided thoughts on how to approach job hunting through an innovation mindset--specifically to treat networking meetings, resumes, and job interviews as prototypes by putting their experiences in front of many people, and getting feedback on how to best translate those experiences into value propositions for potential employers. Not only does this allow a job seeker to refine their "pitch" to an employer, but it also makes the job-seeking process seem less personally-fraught, because the job seeker expects to receive feedback about how to improve their approach, and perceives their search materials as MVPs that need to be constantly iterated and improved.

Student questions centered around how to lead innovation and the different approaches one can take to do this. There was also a fascinating discussion on risk and innovation. Is innovation risky? Are innovators inherently risk-takers? The answers to these questions were personal, nuanced, and led to a great conversation!   

If you missed the conversation, it can be viewed here. To keep up to date with what The Hatchery is doing, especially as they transition to summer programming, be sure to subscribe to their newsletter.

To learn more about The Hatchery visit or email The Hatchery staff at The Hatchery is a unit of Emory University Academic Innovation.

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