This is the fourth in our May series of roundups from Vocians, sharing their best advice and tips that they wish could have told their younger selves. Stay tuned for the last post in the series coming next week.

Bob Nelson, Senior Vice President

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I wish I had known when I graduated that the best technology doesn’t win. Instead, it’s the best marketed technology that wins. Also, no one really cares what school you went to. Businesses want employees that produce results, and they don’t care where you learned how to be productive.

Randy Ksar, Vice President

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After graduating from San Jose State University in 1999 (and now thinking back on it) I wish I knew two things: 1) How to work with integrated teams & 2) How to pitch an idea. First off, in college, the classes I was super excited about were in my business school yet the people I worked with were all biz majors. The reality is that you work with integrated teams ranging from engineering, sales, advertising, PR, marketing, and customer support. Those roles are real and unfortunately that type of cross-school projects never happened. I wish I was better prepared for that process and workflow. Second, pitching an idea to your manager or a big conference room meeting is intimidating. You’re nervous, you’ve prepared all night on your PowerPoint presentation and then you only get through 3 slides out of 20. Why didn’t anybody tell me that was going to happen? Pitching is key to survival. You have that big idea and you need to be prepared to have a 30-sec pitch just in case your in the elevator with the CEO.

Ed McClendon, Supervisor

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I wish I knew (in 2004) the iPhone would revolutionize the mobile industry, and Apple stocks would grow to be as high as $95+ a share. I’m sure millions of other folks would agree with me.  In all seriousness, I wish I truly understood the saying “high risk, high reward,” meaning sometimes you have to take chances to end up where you want to be. After college, I took a position at an insurance company. After a couple of years, I didn’t see much growth, but I was afraid to start all over. Six years later, a wise friend said “If you’re not happy, do something about it. You’re still young.” I took his advice and began looking for a job in communications. Flash forward another six-years, I’m happy, I see growth in front of me and I’m so grateful for that conversation.