by Jessica Murillo
IBM Vice President, Software Strategy & Partnerships, IBM Systems & Technology Group
The most important advice I can give you is to have the courage to be fearless. Your life will be full of great opportunities and the only thing that could limit you will be you not believing fully in yourself.
You are a natural leader, playing team sports through high school and college will teach you valuable lessons about leadership, building trust, and the importance of how to team with others.
Your love of reading will help you later in life. You will pick a career that requires life long learning. Reading the dictionary from A-Z may seem odd in elementary school, but it will teach you important lessons about goal setting, self discipline, and it doesn’t hurt that you learn a few things along the way.
When you are in high school you will write your own BASIC menu system to make it easier to access and use applications on your first personal computer. You may not know this now, but years later you’ll be on teams that create the operating systems that run personal computers and powerful UNIX servers. You’ll even create larger versions these same types of products for customers all around the world.
Try to be patient and learn from your mistakes. It may be hard to imagine now, but your life will be much richer for all the wrong turns and mistakes in addition to the triumphs and accomplishments.
Work hard and laugh often. Right now, you might not think that those two things go together, but you’ll find that laughter is a great way to relieve stress and put things into perspective.
Always know that you have great parents, family and friends that will love and support you. These lifelong relationships will be the glue that holds your life together in good times and bad.
I hope you remember all these lessons I’ve spent my lifetime learning. But if you remember one thing, above all else… be fearless.