This week at Herman Miller my intern group project has become more and more complex and riddled with hurdles. We’ve started getting some really important Executive Leadership Team (ELT) members on our calendars for 30 minute interviews for our project. That was quite a stressful task since it is not everyday you send emails to the CEO, COO, and CFO as an intern. I feel truly lucky to be able to have that opportunity and be able to get to know these people and their stories.
The intern group as a whole (all 41 of us) had a luncheon with Malisa Bryant. She is Herman Miller’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Distribution which requires her to report to our CEO, Brian Walker about global accounts and distribution. She shared with us her life story, her career and job details, her values pertaining to her work, and her humor. She was truly a person that naturally has people gravitate toward her.
She listed that the personality traits that got her where she is today are curiosity, a love for learning, communication, and work ethic. She says “it’s hard to out-work me.” She also encouraged that people should take jobs that they think they’re ready for, but are still a “stretch.” From that, she accused herself of being a serial job hopper. Her curiosity, love for learning, and challenge seeking personality is what causes her to push herself to try new things. In fact, she’s had 3 jobs at Herman Miller in about 2 years!
She also gave some overall career and values advice. Her first being that you’re going to fail and to accept it – not fear it. She also advises to always speak the truth. Some people don’t want to hear it and it may be uncomfortable, but people who have integrity speak the truth. Lastly, she advised to give attention to people’s efforts.
I really found her inspiring and appreciated her time.