A collage of photos of honors students meeting with honors alumni

Alumni Share Insights on Overcoming Adversity

During the first weeks of fall term, the UO Business Honors Program assembled via Zoom a group of alumni and current students to reconnect, network, and talk about the impact of distance learning and working during a pandemic.

The discussion included thoughts on making connections and skill-building during a time of disruption and social distancing.

“I have always instructed my children and our employees that the only guarantee I have ever seen in life is change,” said Steve Zimba, founder and CEO of Nulia, during the session. “And, the difference maker for anyone is how you handle change—you have a choice to either lean in, embrace it and leverage it, or you can simply ignore it and let it happen to you. I find this stimulates some interesting reaction and discussion. It is often a question I weave into an interview I am doing, as I find the answer tells me a lot about a human being and their ability to be resilient and to adapt to changing conditions.”

Offered Rebecca Christiansen ’05, IoT principal solution specialist, strategic accounts at Microsoft, “Be clear on your superpowers, and leverage them to guide how you both execute and lead others. Understanding what your strengths are will help you unlock your full potential. If you wind up in a situation where you are unfulfilled, it may be because your talents are underutilized. Self-awareness will help you pivot.”

The session in the fall was an extension of a new approach to Business Honors admissions developed by program director Eric Boggs with support from the Lundquist College administrative team.