Aligning Passion With Profession

Elvin Marmol is a recent graduate of Startup Institute New York program. This is the second post of a two part series about discovering the importance of cultural fit, personally and professionally. Say hello to Elvin on Twitter, @elvingms. To read his first post, click here

One of the Startup Institute application questions asks about your colossal failure. I gave my example of going through college without ever looking inward to acknowledge my passions and pursuing them; and subsequently taking a well-paid job for fear of falling into my mother’s financial struggles. I did not realize that a successful career could actually mean a happy career. A happy career meant being authentic, playing to your strengths and showing others all of those characteristics.

Startup Institute gave me an opportunity to redeem myself, reignite my confidence in my capabilities and my achievements, and to not settle for a job that does not resonate with my values.

I have incorporated this intangible learning to every aspect of my career search and began to see those same four aspects of myself quite differently:

I love to code! I spent eight weeks in the web development track at Startup Institute, putting in hours of practice making sure to be responsible by either having coffee or a beer in hand. (Thanks Brian Dant!). On interviews, I also learned to approach certain difficult situations with the limits of my knowledge confidently by describing:

“Here’s what I know. Here’s what I don’t know. Here’s how I’ll figure it out”

I focused my career search on various companies that are building applications that align with my interests and emphasizing how my experience adds value.

Natalia Oberti Noguera, Pipeline Fellowship founder and CEO, gave us this inspirational advice “Challenge yourself to be on even when you think you can be off. And use those opportunities to build support.”

  1. I keep my 3DS fully charged for the next coding break and take at least one day purely for leisure. (Kudos to my fellow classmate Jon for the tip.)

  2. I openly engage about the merits of hip hop with everyone and let my personality shine through.

So if you were to ask me, “Why Startup Institute? After reading this post, I’d have to ask you …why not?”

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Interested in aligning your passion with profession? Learn to do with Startup Institute. Spring 2014 applications are open.