Meetings made meaningful

100 hour work weeks. Associates breathing down your neck. Emails at every hour of the day. These are the kinds of stories you hear from people working in finance, and it’s honestly the kind of working environment I expected coming into this position. However, I can say I’m very pleasantly surprised at how wrong I was. On my first day on the job, I fired up my computer, as I’m working remotely through the COVID-19 pandemic, and loaded up Google Meet, expecting to be met by the menacing face of my boss doling out tasks in a stern tone. Instead, the other new hires and I were met by a smile. Frankly, I didn’t even know you were allowed to smile on the job in the finance world. The first words I expected to come out of his mouth were to do this or that, but what actually came out of his mouth was, “What was everyone’s favorite childhood Halloween costume?” I was a little taken aback, first because I’d never really thought about what my favorite childhood costume actually was, and second because I wasn’t expecting my boss to ask me that question. However, as we went around and told the group our favorite costumes, I instantly felt more connected to the team. (In case anyone reading this is wondering, my favorite outfit I wore was Batman, which I still own to this day) Then, we dove into our training, with Jalen (my boss) always pausing to see if anyone had any questions. By the end of the meeting, we were thoroughly educated on how to use all the system software, and everyone knew each other far better. I was amazed by the efficiency of the meeting and the actual enjoyment I got out of it. I took another valuable lesson away from that meeting, one that is often not taught in business programs, if you don’t connect with your team, you can’t expect them to produce their best quality work. Instead of dreading my morning meeting the next day, I looked forward to telling the team what I had accomplished.