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Industry Expertise

The Missing Puzzle Piece


How did Shaquille O’Neil have a major impact on me working in IT consulting?

I know there are probably a lot of follow up questions here. What do those two have to do with each other? How could a LA Lakers player impact you taking a job in Boston? Why should I care? And these are all fair questions so here is my explanation.

January 26, 2020, I was a Senior at Providence College and the career fair was coming up in a few days so I was sitting in my dorm room thinking about the future. I knew pieces of what I wanted for the future but, it felt like I was missing some pieces of the puzzle. I knew I wanted to do something in the business field, I wanted something that would allow me to build relationships with people, and I wanted to work at a company where I could control my destiny with proper guidance and support from leadership. I thought about sales, or marketing, or customer success. All of these had pieces of what I was looking for but again, I did not feel like it completed the puzzle of my future.

Later that I afternoon, I started getting notifications on my phone from various news outlets and texts from friends. We found out Kobe Bryant died that day. This became a day of reflecting on his legacy and again thinking about my future. What do I want to accomplish? When do I want to accomplish it? With whom do I want to accomplish it with?

A few days later I attended the Career Fair, not sure exactly what I was looking for. Eventually, things were winding down, I had a few conversations but nothing that felt meaningful. And then I saw the sign for LABUR consulting, I had never heard of them before but I decided I wanted to learn more. I talked with our current managing director Nick Regan for a few minutes, and we started talking about the importance of relationship building and how they go about recruiting from a relationship perspective. I left the conversation feeling good about things and looked forward to talking with them further.

When I got back to my dorm room that afternoon, I started decompressing from the career fair and opened Twitter to find a video of Shaq talking about the legacy of Kobe Bryant. One of his quotes stuck with me and made stop everything else I was doing. He said, “I’m going to try to do a better job of just reaching out and talking to people”. He said this in the context that he wished he had talked with and appreciated Kobe more while he was still here. What resonated well with me here was that aspect of constantly reaching out to others, checking in, and just seeing how things are going from a genuine perspective. It felt like worlds were colliding, the message I talked about with Nick from LABUR and what Shaq was talking about were merging together and I felt like I finally found the missing piece to the puzzle of what I wanted for the future.

Fast forward to 2 years later and I am now focusing on relationship building and building powerful connections with IT leaders and professionals on a daily basis with LABUR. I wanted to share this story because now that a lot of college students are preparing for their senior year and might not know exactly what they want for the future, I encourage you all to take inspiration from your passions, take risks, and work hard find that missing piece of your puzzle.