It’s a month after graduation and people are beginning to ask me, “Now that you’ve finished your MBA program and you’ve had time for it to sink in, would you do it over again if you were given the choice?” I have to say I would. Now that I’ve had a little time to decompress, I’ve come to realize a lot (some of which I’ll reflect upon in an upcoming blog post), but when I think about the entire experience, I have to say that the time spent in school in the woods was a good one. I’m most grateful for two things. First, I learned a great deal about myself over the past two years and how I can put my talents and strengths to work. Secondly, I was fortunate to meet some truly amazing people.
Drew Jones is one such individual. From the first time we met during an exercise designed to teach about power and privilege to the last days of serving as co-chairs for the Diversity and Social Justice Committee for BGI, he has continued to amaze me. He’s partly responsible for some of the most fascinating books I’ve read lately, including Sophie’s World among others. When I asked him what/who inspires him, he spoke of his wife Mindy—and I must say—I definitely agree with him. Check out what he had to say about Mindy and learn more about who he is as a person below.
Who Inspires You?
I’m inspired by people who take risks and do the things they love to do.
What is the most interesting question you’ve ever been asked and how did you respond?
It’s a little clichéd now, but Peter Graf from SAP was the first to ask me “What’s on my B side?” as in what’s the stuff that doesn’t get on the front side of a business card, or what’s the stuff usually left out of a professional bio. I told him that if the economy were different, I’d be in culinary school, not business school.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I minored in classical studies and can translate Latin.
If you removed all constraints how would you spend your time?
I’d read all the books, learn how to play all the instruments, assemble an orchestra, and learn how to compose music.
How did you get to where you are today?
I got here with a lot of help from friends and family. I also had some great mentors and role models in my life, who helped shape the person I am today.
What are you doing to be the person you want to be?
I try to live within my personal code of ethics: 1. Listen more than you talk. 2. Give more than you take. 3. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
What can you do today to improve someone else’s life?
I think a lot of people crave connection – we live in a very lonely world. The easiest and most impactful way to make a difference quickly is to make eye contact and smile at someone. The second most impactful way is to say hello. The third is to listen.
What is the toughest decision you ever had to make, and what did you learn from it?
I had to make a very tough decision in my early 20s that was irreversible and would have lasting impacts on my health, relationships, and options I would have down the road, both career-wise and personal-wise. I learned that I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was, and a lot happier when I follow my own path.
What do you think is the most fascinating subject/concept in the world?
There are too many to count! I’ve always been drawn to mythology, and studying comparative mythology, comparative religion, and trying to find the great monolith that unifies us as a species. Joseph Campbell did most of my work for me before I was ever born, but the more I learn about other people, the more I find that even as disparate as we might seem, there are elements that appear over and over again, these patterns that repeat themselves through time and space and geography. Story structures, musical styles, art motifs, dance, architecture, rituals … so many other things are similar all over the world. I think this is fascinating stuff, because I think it gets to the root of what makes us human.
What makes you smile?
I am an absolute sucker for puppies, kittens, and babies.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’ve recently begun storyboarding a web comic that I’ve had rattling around in my head for years and hope to start publishing panels within a month or so. It’s called “Small Bear” and you’ll be able to find it at www.smallbeardesign.com once it’s up. I’m also developing a set list of folk songs from the European medieval period on guitar, and once I find a place to practice that won’t annoy my neighbors, will be resuming fiddle lessons.
What question did I not ask you that you wish I had and how would you answer?
This was a tough one! I’ll give you my standard interview question: You have a stone that you can turn over three times. With each turn of the stone, you can invite a person, living or dead, to your fabulous dinner party, so long as they bring a cheesecake. You turn the stone over three times. Who do you invite? My answer is: Hilary Clinton (she brings a New York cheesecake,) Ursula K. LeGuin (she brings an Oregon blueberry cheesecake,) and Marie Curie (she ignored the cheesecake rule and brought a bottle of wine.)
How can we support you?
Check out Small Bear as soon as it goes live and tell all your friends about it!
How can we contact you?
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 1.360.223.4857 Twitter: @Drew_Says