What I learned from a 21 year old marketing graduate
She was reasonably self-assured in a positive way and smiled her way through what can be sometimes an awkward introduction period. I say awkward only because being the new girl is always a little unsettling until you have lost that tag and become part of the team.
Megan Eaton is a private school educated, eastern suburbs Sydney-ite. I know what image you are conjuring in your mind, and I have to say STOP. It's what so many people do. They judge a book by its cover and not what is inside.
I however am attuned to young men and women that have been brought up in privileged upbringings and contrary to what you may think, they are not all 'bad guys' or 'spoilt brats'. In fact, in my experience as an employer and previous to that, a colleague, I have found that young people that have derived from this background to be the best employees and colleagues.
They know business
At the dinner table every night of their lives, their fathers and/or mothers have talked business. It's not unusual for them to sit through an hour of conversation about a business deal, employees going rogue, or something that has gone wrong and their parents have felt that pain. Due to this, their sense of empathy is high. What child doesn't feel for their stressed out parent?
Megan is an exemplary example of a young person with exceptional manners. She shows respect to everyone and always says thank you. She never talks over anyone, always listens and does so with a big smile on her face.
Constructive feedback is welcome
When you look like a supermodel, everything is short on you - because your endless legs are appreciated on the catwalk and perhaps socially, but in real terms, when designing dresses, they do so for average people - so that they sell more. One day she walked into the office, and although there were no meetings, her dress due to her height was perceived as short. I discussed with her that it was totally fine to wear dresses like that to the office, however, if there is a client meeting, she may need to find attire that is more conservative. Instead of getting mad or thinking I am old fashioned, she thanked me for the feedback and never looked back.
Talented people can come from all walks of life
I feel that quite often we expect that people who have had a harder life, are by default harder workers and more talented. It's what good stories in the media are made of. However, the reality is that people can be talented no matter what their station in life is. In fact, sometimes even though people are born into privilege, they want to show their parents and friends that they too can do it on their own and make their mark in life.
Life's challenges affect all of us
Like most people, there are challenges in life that can make us or break us. Megan has had some big challenges (which I am not sure whether she has told me about or I heard on the grapevine), and she has chosen to find her own path in life, work hard, bring something to the table and make sure that she is the best version of herself.
OMG! Megan is loyal, hard working and has always had the company's back - all from the get-go. She is a great ambassador for our brand and for young people as a whole. I know that while she is a fun-loving, cool cat, she is also very serious about doing the right thing, working hard and being respectful.
Fun people bring a lot to the table - especially in marketing
Ok...she is fun. No question. In fact, we have a team of fun people. She is always making jokes, keeping the vibe alive and making conversation with team members. She is a natural born leader and is not afraid to roll up her sleeve. Sometimes I find her in the office at 7pm at night and let me assure you, this is NOT expected in our company. But she makes sure that she never goes home without everything done, and while she may ensure that everyone else has an upbeat day, she gets that sometimes this creates downtime.
Which leads me to what's next...
Megan has been incredible for our company and as a confidante of myself. She 'gets it' and is naturally a capable, talented young woman. Anything and everything is possible for her future in marketing or any other industry, because she brings something incredible to the table.
Being so young, an opportunity before she started at Marketing Eye arose for her to instruct at a Ski Resort in Canada. She let me know before she accepted the position and I immediately knew that although this takes her away from the business for 5 months, it's a chance of a lifetime and will help her in her role when she comes back early next year. I've learned that great people like Megan Eaton are keepers and to ensure that they have the best possible life, you have to let them have adventures.
We allow people who have been with the company for 12 months to have endless holidays, but this is someone who hasn't been with the company for a full year - and still, on a case by case basis, it is worth it to our company.
Thank you Megan. You are a star!