You’re rarely going to be the smartest person in the room, and that’s a good thing! It means you’re in the right place because when you stop learning, it’s probably time to move on to something more challenging.
Ask questions! Questions are not admitting defeat. They show you are engaged and invested.
Come with solutions. Some of the best advice I have ever received was from one of our founders, Bo Spalding. He told me that I should never be afraid to ask questions, but that I should always try to come up with my own solutions first. Not only does it show that you’ve taken the time to think through the problem, but it will help you get ready for the day when you’re the one making the decisions.
Make your own path. While it’s scary heading out into the real world with no one telling you exactly where to go next, it’s also kind of awesome. Jackson Spalding embraces this notion by not having titles, which isn’t common for an agency. You produce your best work when you’re able to follow your passions.
Test scores and grades aren’t everything (they’re still important, though!). Hard work and a smile will get you a heck of a lot further than anything you learned from a book. Good grades will get you in the door, but after that you need to prove you can apply that knowledge to help your company. Our generation is fighting the dreaded “millennial” label, so more than the generations before us, we have to prove we’re willing to go the distance to produce quality work.