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  • Tiffany Liao

POW - M.O.X.I.E: Overcoming Career Adversity


When I walked into the workshop there was a slideshow projection with the word M.O.X.I.E. written across a can. Siovonne Persaud introduced herself as a WIB alumnae and encouraged attendees to join WIB because “WIB taught her to have a lot of M.O.X.I.E.”. What is M.O.X.I.E.? was the question asked by me and Siovonne. However, it was only an internal thought on my part. A few people shared their ideas and said M.O.X.I.E. was swagger and aggressiveness.They were partially correct, but before she tell us what M.O.X.I.E. is, she wanted to share a story.

Siovonne‘s very first interview was with Goldman Sachs. She went through five back-to-back interviews for three hours and did not receive an offer. She was devastated and she doubted herself, “Why didn’t I get it?”. Instead of lingering on this unanswerable question, she decided to change her direction from commodity trading services (clients of banks) to the banking industry. In the following year, she worked very hard on her resume, applications, and interviews. When she received her first job offer in the banking industry, her boyfriend showed her the picture of the very same can that was shown in the beginning of our workshop. He said she had M.O.X.I.E. He was impressed by her courage to change her career path for the better. She utilized her aggressive energy to overcome the doubt that she had within herself and pursue what she wanted. She is now happily employed at Natixis, where she is appreciated for her work and ideas.

We then moved on to an interactive activity where we were put into groups of five. We had to share one fear we have or had, one lesson we have learned, and one piece of advice that we have received. The purpose of this activity was to discuss how we identify, approach, and resolve our own adversities. There were many overlaps between advices and lessons we have learned such as finding time for ourselves or investing our time into networking. However, most people in the workshop had one fear in common: failure (which is why we all need M.O.X.I.E. or a drink). We feared that we will not be employed after graduation or will not receive internship offers during our college years. There was only one person there who said she was unafraid of failure as she welcomes the experience to learn from it.

Siovonne then redirected our attention back to the question: What is M.O.X.I.E.? Siovonne revealed the answer in her next slide: M.O.X.I.E. is the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage. Whether it be making a career change or finding the “right” job, you have to be aggressive with initiation, boldness, nerve, and vigor to show that you have the skills to face your challenge. After the suspenseful wait of twenty minutes, Siovonne finally revealed the acronyms of M.O.X.I.E.:

M is for Mindfulness

O is for Opportunity

X is for the X Factor within each of us

I is for Initiative

E is for Energy

Overall, these five traits would help us turn our aggression into passion and vice versa. If a person tells you that you have M.O.X.I.E., then you are a boss was what I learned. I also realize that M.O.X.I.E. is a cream soda from the 1950s. I wonder if it tastes like triumph over career adversity.

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