Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A glimpse into the life of . . .

I sadly do not know this outstanding young man all that well, but I do consider myself an excellent judge of character, and I'm telling you he is really something else - in the very best way.

Oron went to grad school with Jared, and they now work for the same company, so I've had a few run-ins with him (I'm always laughing within 30 seconds), but my first introduction to the life of Oron occurred when I attended a one-man show he performed. I had never been to one before, so I didn't really know to expect, but I was blown away.

I wish I had just a sliver of the amount of creativity it takes to produce one of those. This guy is overflowing with wit, humor and intelligence, and his enthusiasm for just living life is quite inspiring. I'm so glad he agreed to share a little of himself with us!
Current profession: Product Development and Innovation for Optum Health

First job ever: I was a bag boy at a local supermarket in my hometown. Then I moved to deli, which I loved! I had to wear a beret. I sold a lot of Boar's Head meat, which I called the "elite meat" because of its high price point. When I moved to New York City and Boar's Head was the default deli meat, I thought I lived in such a cool place.

First job after graduating/first 'grown up' job: I was an actor in New York. Went after the dream! I supported myself through musical theatre in New York and tours around the country and internationally. I also worked in various capacities at law firms to help pay the bills. "Non-traditional" to be sure, but I wouldn't change a thing.
Dream job: I am really loving where I'm at right now. I enjoy being a part of building innovative new solutions in healthcare, an industry that is calling out for creative and smart ideas to help solve real problems. It's fun to be a part of the national conversation around healthcare reform and understand more deeply some of the forces at play.

What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing the same (or a similar) profession you have been in or are currently in? My best advice for anyone is to be authentic. I think that being able to bring yourself 100% to work, whatever that means to you, is vital to being successful at your job. You gotta be real. Trying to be what other people expect you to be is not going to be successful in the long term - you've got to own YOU!

Cringeworthy workplace behavior young professionals should never get into the habit of doing: I don't know that I've seen too much cringeworthy workplace behavior - I've been really impressed with the young professionals that I've met. I think a key thing is not letting one's millenial-ness take over and getting really impatient. It's important to strive to be better and seek out opportunities, but I think there is value in getting good at something, putting in time and effort and watching your results take shape. Spending some time and leaving some sweat and tears is a good thing.
What has been the biggest challenge so far in your career path? My biggest challenge has been navigating the big change I made in my career. On the back end of the theatre career, I wanted to make sure that I left New York on my own terms, without regrets, knowing that I did everything I needed to do to feel fulfilled and successful before I made a big move. It required patience, and was sometimes uncomfortable, to give myself the time to know that I was making the right decision. As I transitioned into business, it was challenging to learn how to translate my creative background for the business world.
What advice do you have for others facing a similar challenge? For me, getting my MBA was a transformative experience. It was an opportunity to take my experience and work history and pair it with classwork, experiential education, networking and a language that forms the basis for the currency of business. I also benefited from the recruiting resources at my business school, which helped to connect me into great local companies.
What advice do you wish you could give your 20-year-old self, career-related or just in general? I think I gave myself good advice at the time. I remember hearing that it was really difficult to make it as an actor. I knew that I needed to pursue that and give myself a fair shot at success. I took that and ran with it and learned a ton along the way. Pivoting toward business in my 30s was just a natural evolution: a conscious choice I made based on knowledge of how the theatre business works and what options and growth would be available to me in the future. I didn't/don't want to live a life with regrets, so I went/go after my dreams, and I'm glad I did/do.
When you are 50 what do you want to be able to look back and say about your life right now? I want to say that I lived my life to its fullest. I want to say that I had great relationships with people, that I was successful, that I took opportunities, that I reasoned, that I explored and that I took chances.

How do you define success? I define success as doing what you say you are going to do and doing it well. I also would say that being happy is an important part of success for me, personally.

Who has been your biggest influence, personally or professionally? My parents are probably my biggest influence. Among other things, I shaped my worldview from theirs and learned about the value of hard work. I also have a network of friends across industries that influence and inspire me with their experiences and achievements.
What hobbies and activities do you enjoy in your spare time? I enjoy theatre (musicals, cabaret), music (embarrassingly, Top 40), movies (Oscars) and am obsessed with tennis (I don't really play, but I follow it like crazy). 
What is number one on your bucket list? I don't know that I have an official bucket list! I live in the moment. I would, however, love to hit all the tennis Grand Slams...I've been to the US Open, but it would be amazing to go to the Aussie, French and Wimbledon.
Favorite ice cream flavor: Nicollet Ave. Pothole at Sebastian Joe's

Thank you, Oron! 

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