In this 33rd episode of OneHaas, host Sean Li talks to MBA student Steffi Decker (‘20). They discuss her background in digital marketing for political campaigns, how she ended up at Haas, and how to reflect, identify your goals, and adjust how you spend your time accordingly.
- Steffi built and ran a digital marketing agency in DC focused on policy and advocacy back in the late 2000s when nobody but the young upstarts knew anything about digital.
- During the 2010 campaign, a big local company saw their digital political ads and it landed them their first corporate client.
- Steffi and her partners grew the firm to 25-30 people and then worked with her colleagues over 2 years on a transition plan for her to leave the company.
- Between leaving the company and starting at Haas, she traveled alone for months, biking up the coast of Thailand, and exploring Laos and other countries.
- Steffi learned to be self-directed and determine what would make her happy and fulfilled.
- You don’t have to travel to Thailand alone for three months to figure it out; each week, reflect on which experiences you had that you found meaning and value in, and adjust accordingly.
- She knew very little about business school and didn’t know anyone who had gone to business school because she worked in politics, but she doesn’t recommend going into it that uninformed.
- Steffi identified what tangible things she wanted to get out of her time at Haas and deliberately oriented her time around those things; if she’s asked to do something and she can’t see how it moves her towards one of those goals, she doesn’t do it.
- Haas could do better at prioritizing diversity and representation in the student body, in faculty, in the curriculum, and everywhere.
- Steffi interned at New Media Ventures, a partisan non-profit investor that invests in progressive civic tech and political organizing tools.
- She’s driven to help people at the biggest scale possible.
3 Key Points:
- Business school is more demanding than Steffi anticipated; it is not a decision to take lightly.
- Reflecting on your experiences is an important way of learning what’s important to you and how to align your life more in that direction.
- Identifying your goals is the first step towards knowing how to spend your time.