Laura Guzman is the National Director of Marketing and Business Development at the global engineering firm WSP. Prior to that, she was the Chief Operating Officer at Microdesk, a design technology consultancy, so she really has her finger on the pulse of the AEC industries.
In this episode, she shares her career journey, and I ask her for all sorts of advice on how to be an advocate for yourself, how to work with difficult people, and on applying for roles you don't feel ready for yet. #askingforafriend
We also talk digital agriculture!
LIGHTNING ROUND Q&A
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT IN THEIR CAREER?
Take chances. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and in a situation that you're uncomfortable with, because you'll learn so much from that. And raise your hand.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FEEL UNFOCUSED OR OVERWHELMED?
Take a deep breath, and make sure you've got those things that ground you - keep space in your life for that. I have what I call my "non-negotiable time". I'm an early bird, but 5-6am weekdays is my time. Leave room for you.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU FIND REALLY INSPIRING?
I'll say a book. A friend just turned me on to "The Multipliers". In my new role, I'm thinking a lot about, not just trying to be a great leader, but actually inspire everybody to get engaged. So I'm really loving this book which is all about how do you inspire great team engagement and give everybody the room to bring ideas to the table.
WHAT'S A FUNNY OR UNUSUAL FACT ABOUT YOURSELF?
Until I went to college, I didn't know that it wasn't normal to have ice cream after every meal. That's the product of being a farmer's daughter, I guess. We had a massive chest in our cellar that was always stocked full of ice cream, so I never really knew what it was like to not have ice cream. I pretty much still have ice cream every day.
MENTOR SHOUT OUT! WHO IS SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN A GREAT MENTOR TO YOU?
I'm going to give a shout out to unfortunately a departed mentor, but she meant a lot to me. I had a great advisor at Cornell named Kathy Berggren. She was an early lean-in-er, and inspired me to always take chances and not be afraid to speak up, and not be afraid to always be learning. She's with me always, and I definitely wouldn't be here today if it weren't for her.