Updated: Jul 26
I like the underdog. I enjoy rooting for the underdog in March Madness and in music festivals. At times, I even like being the underdog.
I joined the band in the sixth grade. I was put on an instrument with very few girls in the section. One could argue that position put me at underdog status. Ironically, however, I remember feeling a sense of empowerment being one of the only girls in the saxophone section. As I became a middle schooler, then a high schooler, I used my “underdog” status to hone my abilities. I would practice in the mornings and late at night (sorry, Mom and Dad) so that I would be taken seriously by my peers, teachers, and community. A male-dominated environment demands a greater effort to navigate stereotypes and bias. So, I adapted. And in doing so I found my voice and grew with confidence. I befriended younger and older peers, became first chair, and led the band as drum major.
Now, as a college-aged student, I am faced with similar circumstances in the world of business. To overcome obstacles, I seek opportunities and mentorship from others with a range of backgrounds and experiences. I like the underdog stories. I like hearing of overcoming adversity. My experience and the experiences and stories of others empower me further as I navigate the business world.
As a woman, breaking into the business world full of men can make one feel like an underdog. Some people may take one step, while you have to take two or three to accomplish the seemingly same distance. As women, we must capitalize our “underdog” status to empower us and empower others. Let us challenge the norm and change the narrative.
The University of Texas at Austin
McCombs School of Business | Moody College of Communication
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