Take a Tartan to Work Day (my first professional post)
“Oh and I’m wearing pink legs” texts Nina Barbuto, as I am walking full speed down Forbes to meet her. We have agreed upon Kiva Han, as Nina, a CMU Architecture Alum, is checking out the CMU arts and technology fest in CFA. Her bike lock ate her key, she knows everyone in Kiva, and I have no idea what to expect. We order some food and sit down to chat. Nina’s friend is about to join us, they’ve been best friends since their Freshman Year in college and work together on Nina’s non-for profit start-up Assemble Pgh. It’s an art and technology space that aims to reach out to the local community by planning events such as “Bring your Own Brains” and “Everyone is a Superhero” parties that encourage interacting with technology and foster learning. We chat for over an hour about life, start-ups, motivation and how everyone has a bit of an entrepreneur inside of them. Nina shares with me her story of making her way into improving the community and the daily challenges she faces when doing something different and out of the ordinary. She emphasizes two magic make-you-successful words to me: “network” and “delegate”. She repeats them throughout our conversation and makes sure I understand their impact and I believe her. When I leave I feel excited about this great person I just met and will follow up with her in the Spring. Nina mentioned that if I want I can be one of the key people planning their big February fundraiser. This was one of the best (and most motivating) conversations that I’ve had in a while—in between being stressed about school and job applications, I got to eat mac-n-cheese and talk about networking, delegation, and confidence.