A Day in the Life #3 Video

9 01 2011

This is the last video from the A Day in the Life series. (There is actually one more that I did with a System Engineer from Apple, but it’s not for public viewing).

My class is completed; grades are all turned in, and it’s all wrapped up. All I need to do now is sit down and think through everything that I did: what went well, what didn’t go so well, what I would change, what I like, if I want to teach again in the future, what God taught me through the semester (definitely a lot there), how I can continue to mentor and help students, and more. That’s a big job for me to do, but I believe that reflection is really important in life. If you don’t look at what you did in the past and learn from it, you’ve missed the benefits of the experience (and I probably won’t remember anything in a few months, as I have a really bad memory :)).

Kim Pfiffner, IT Director at Principal Financial group
Kim was the director that I was under when I was an intern at Principal in the summer of 2008. She is a super sweet lady – she took me out to breakfast, just to get to know me — the lowly intern. She’s very smart and offers some great advice in this video. My favorite things she talks about are what her old boss used to tell her/ask her: “Is anybody dead?” “No.” “Then, bleeding?” “No.” “Well, some one must be hurt; you’re pretty upset and stressed.” “No, no one’s hurt! Everyone’s okay. It’s not that bad. I just have this big project/failure.” “It must not be that big of a deal; it sounds like you’re team is still in tact. No one’s hurt. The world isn’t falling apart.”
She said that her boss also told her that people “when in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout” and her job as a manager/director was to stop them and calm them down.

Also, good advice: Hire smart people! They can learn anything.

I love that she was a marketing student who found the IT job more interesting. It really made my students think that they might be doing something different after they graduate.

Thanks to Kim for the great interview!

Update/Correction from her video- there are about 14,000 employees at Principal, rather than 17,000.

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