#OliveFamily: Going for Gold

The Rio Olympics have come and gone faster than Usain Bolt in the Men’s 100m, and we are still in an athletic daze.  While Soaring Simone and Lying Lochte dominated headlines, it was nevertheless an exciting year for worldwide sports and especially one of firsts.  Ten nations won their first olympic medals; the first refugee team competed; Iran had its first female medalist; an African American won gold in women’s swimming; and American and Indian female wrestlers took home medals for the first time.  Meanwhile, the veterans continued to cement their legacies with Bolt and Phelps going out on top yet again.  There were countless inspiring stories at the 2016 Olympics, which is a true testament the power of sports and how it can bring people together.

So, for this week’s #OliveFamily post, I wanted to talk about a lesser known part of our company culture, our competitiveness. Fun fact. A large part of our team consists of current and former athletes.  I am playing for Penn’s softball team as a junior, CEO Renee Kakareka pitched for four years at Philadelphia University, and CMO Yashira Rivera ran track and played field hockey her whole life, and Design and Original Intern Richard Stone rowed all through high school.  You may be thinking to yourself, that’s great, but what does that have to do with working at a tech startup?!

The advice I’ve heard the most at Penn as an athlete has been to stress the fact that I am an athlete in job interviews.  I’ve been told to “play it up” as much us possible.  This initially sounds a bit slimy and even manipulative, but then I realized there is a genuine reason for it.  All that athletic training, all those hours of practice, criticism from coaches, days spent with a team of people...it has simultaneously been training for business!

Just think about it. Here is a quick, off-the-top-of-the-head list of traits successful athletes possess:

Work Ethic

Team Player

Determination

Performs Well Under Pressure

Coachable

Disciplined

Mentally Tough

Confident/Passionate

As I read over this list again, I realize that these are in no way exclusive to sports. This is list of successful traits any successful person has, not just on the field, but also in the working world.  Better yet, I would apply all of these traits to our team at Olive Devices.  We spend as much time supporting each other and working together as we do playfully competing to see whose blog post got the most traction that week. We give pressure-filled presentations, work until the coffee machine is out, and keep saying yes when the no’s try to creep in.  As Yashira beautifully said, it’s all fueled by passion.  

In lieu of the Rio Olympics, I’d like to give some very cheesy and very metaphorical gold medals to my #OliveFamily, and really to any other tech startup out there working day in and day out to make the world a better place. Plus, just like in sports, we don’t really play or work everyday just for a chance at gold. We keep going because we love doing what we do.


Sincerely,

Molly Oretsky 

Molly Oretsky