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A Letter to My Younger Self: Dave Deiters, Executive Director of the Jones MBA Career Center

Dave Deiters, executive director of the Jones MBA Career Center at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, takes a trip down memory lane and reflects on his life lessons and doles out advice to his younger self.
A Young Dave Deiters, Executive Director of the Jones MBA Career Center with his wife

Dave Deiters reflects on his career and life lessons through a letter to his younger self.

David Deiters, Jr.
December 2022

David Deiters, Jr.
October 1987

Dave,

Happy 27th birthday! You think you have a lot happening in your life at 27. Just wait, things only get busier. One constant, 35 years later - your bride of three years is the best thing that ever happened to you. The good news for you is that you have never forgotten that fact.   

Congratulations on buying your first house – but relax, dude! That price of $79,500 seemed like a lot to you – and it was, but the interesting thing is that those 21% interest rates of the early 1980’s gave you a real perspective regarding the ‘soaring’ interest rates of 2022. Congrats also on your promotion to manager a couple of months ago. I know you were disappointed it did not come a year earlier, and yes it seemed important, but the TRULY important news is going to get shared with you in a few weeks…Dad.  

You got a lot right, most importantly your perspective of what’s important and what’s noise. Well done. You also missed some things, but fortunately for you, time mostly healed them. Time does that – try to keep that in mind.  

One of the best pieces of advice you ever received has served you well. ‘It is easier to act yourself into a way of thinking than it is to think yourself into a way of acting!’ Your father also told you something that has proven true, but not sure you believed him at the time. He said every phase of life just gets better. That has been especially true for your family life. The lesson here is to stay optimistic – better times ARE ahead.

Believe it or not, you’ll drive many promotions and raises for those on your teams.  What is fascinating is that many more people who received these promotions thanked you for the congratulatory note you wrote them rather than for the promotion or raise itself. I guess the advice here is to write more notes. If they are sincere, they are meaningful.

 

Enough advice. Keep the faith and don’t drift too far from your alma mater, ole Georgia Tech – you just never know what might happen down the road… 

PS – Before I let you go, a couple of quick things: First, get on that ‘light beer train’ a little sooner. That brown ale phase of the late 90’s put a lot of pounds on you…besides, you’ve always loved Natties anyway. Second, there was an IPO last year, which you ignored because it was run by a couple of ‘hippy dropouts.’ BUY IT. Trading symbol is MSFT…

Sincerely,

Dave Deiters

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