Matt Gornick

How to be Successful: Timeliness

Posted in Personal, School, Uncategorized, Work by mgornick on July 6, 2008

“If you are on time, you are late!”

This seemingly contradictory yet true quote still resonates with me to this day.  I first heard it during my freshman year of high school and only until recently do I see its impact on pursuing success.  

First, what is being “on time.” If you are in high school/college, its the simple act of arriving 1 microsecond prior to the lecturer uttering their first words of the class.  As much as people in this age group (myself included) will tend to disagree with this definition, we all know it to be true and live by it as we prioritize our lives.  This leads me back to the point that you are either one of two things: early or late.  I’ve found that being “on time” doesn’t cut it anymore.

I’ve listed the consequences of being “on time” to a business meeting:

1. I am not prepared.  If I sit down as people are talking, I’ve missed any handouts, preliminary conversation, and the chance to organize my notes and thoughts.  This is detrimental to myself as I will not get the most out of the meeting or be able to contribute my ideas.

2. I will delay the meeting. Because most people will wait until everyone is situated, I will have essentially wasted other people’s time.  Others will be waiting for me to “catch up” to what everyone was doing earlier.  In general, people don’t like their time to be wasted!

3. I will not be in control. This is probably the most detrimental to one’s success.  If I show up “on time”/late, I obviously didn’t schedule my day, prioritize, or manage my tasks well enough.  Although this is sometimes unavoidable, it hurts to lack control over a situation.

This leads me to a story of a friend of the family that was interviewing for a job.  She’s worked in various fields throughout her life, has a presentable resumé, and landed an onsite interview with a nearby company.  She *assumed* she knew where the location was and how to get there.  When the day came for her interview, she arrived “on time”; literally walked in the door at 8:30 am for an 8:30 am interview.  Do you think she was ecstatic that she made it in time?  Of course not.  The secretary told her that if she couldn’t make the effort to arrive early for an interview then she obviously didn’t care enough about the job.  The secretary was right! If you show up late for an interview, you might not be dependable with a project or task that needs to get done.  Being “on time” is being “late”.

Lets take my story from this summer’s internship.  We [the intern class] were told to meet at a particular location at 8 am.  What time do you think most people got there?  If you guessed between 6:30 am and 7:00 am, you’d be correct.  Especially if you are not familiar with the area, you should give yourself enough time to find the location and travel there if you’re lost.  If time permits, you should try to visit the site a day in advance to judge the time it will take to get there.  A point I will leave you with: what if you were the only person to show up at exactly 8:00 am?  How would you feel?  I suspect that it will coincide with the 3 points I listed for being “on time”.

I’ve found that being punctual and organizing my time has helped me take proper steps to success.  Refer back to my post on JP Morgan to help prioritize your schedule and maintain timeliness.


Illini Entrepreneurship Network (IEN)

Posted in School by mgornick on May 12, 2008

A group of very motivated students and myself are undertaking arguably the most difficult task at UIUC: put students of different ideas, majors, and backgrounds in a room and build the next bread of startups. 

I’ve noticed the only difference between UIUC and some of the Universities near Silicon Valley is the atmosphere.  Silicon Valley allows for ideas to flow and develop; we need that at UIUC.  Too many students (myself included) have ideas or skills to support those ideas.  The trick is finding those students and getting them to meet; that is what IEN is for.

Our goals seem relatively simple: provide an atmosphere where students can network and create startups. We’ve modeled ideas after MPowered and SEN started at University of Michigan and Stanford respectively. We will bring students from ACES, The College of Business, Computer Science, Engineering, and Law together and allow these students to work together with other students, Alumni, and VC firms.  We’ve received amazing support of various University groups and colleges to promote our soon to be Registered Student Organization (RSO).

Right now we are in our development stages.  We have settled on the name; now its time to organize our agenda, ideas, and plans for the Fall 2008 semester.  




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