In a lovely podcast of Marlene Puffer, the Chief Investment Officer of a Canadian pension fund, I found a golden nugget.
She was describing how she began her career as an outsider. She was always in academia, with multiple degrees and what not.
And one day, at the grand old age of 29, she found herself in a teaching job as a professor of finance.
Her problem? She was all theory and no practice. Why? Because she hadn’t had the opportunity to work at Wall Street or other financial firms.
While she did suffer from imposter syndrome at first, she came up with an excellent solution. She knew she had very good theoretical knowledge and was very well read. Instead of feeling insecure in front of her much older and much more experienced students, she learned to learn from them instead, and layered it on top of her theoretical prowess.
“Hey Mike, you’ve got 15 years of experience working in FX derivatives, why don’t you share your perspective and learnings on how you did things at Morgan Stanley?”… and so on… Pretty cool no?!