Categories: Lessons from the Road
In Lessons From the Road we hear from folks who exemplify personal and professional leadership. Folks who want to share their advice with you, the Lime Connect community.
In this month's Lessons From the Road we hear from Nate Walcker who is Director on Lime Connect's Board.
Nate, tell us about your background and what inspires you:
I am originally from Minnesota. I am a small town kid who went off to the big city for College. I graduated from Columbia University in 2009 with a BA in Economics and I've spent the past 3 years working on Wall Street. A fun fact about me is that I was once a backup dancer in a Super Bowl Commercial –who says big men can’t dance!?! I am inspired everyday by the people I work with, meet and interact with. I’m lucky enough to live in a concrete jungle filled with 8 million truly unique people and have learned so much about myself as a New Yorker. Perhaps the most important lesson I have learned is one of humility. We all have good times, and not such good times. But I have learned to take comfort in the hard times so I can better appreciate the good ones – much of this I attribute to my experiences in New York.
What has been your experience navigating your disability at work? What's your advice on that?
Working on a trading floor made my hearing disability onerous at times, especially with an environment plagued by constant noise – 4 monitors, two phones and 200 traders. What a nightmare. It was very tough to handle at first, but I adapted and got used to it. The best advice that I can give anyone is that you are your best advocate. Don’t be afraid to speak up! I remember starting work on the trading desk and being shy about not being able to hear my boss (who sat right next to me, by the way). My inability to hear him started to impact my performance. So I pulled him aside and let him know where I was coming from – this wasn’t easy but I am glad I had the courage to take control of the situation. Looking back, I was putting myself in a terrible position by keeping my troubles to myself. Don’t make the same mistake that I made.
What is your advice for those entering the workforce for the first time, especially those working in the financial world? What does success look like?
Entering the workplace post-university can be daunting, without question. The most important thing to remember is that first impressions matter. You’re not in college anymore, so adjust your conduct accordingly and work extremely hard. In the same vein, we must realize that a job is a job - we as people are not defined by what we do between the hours of 9-5. Knowing how to separate the office and home is a delicate dance that I am still trying to learn. Success to me means being the ‘go-to’ person on a team, the one person people know they can lean on when times are tough. I think the famous tennis player Billie Jean King says it best: “Pressure is a privilege”. Embrace it.