Brandeis International Business School

010: Learning to learn

Pivoting from government to technology

Our guest today is Lynn Greenberg, co-founder and CEO of Pivt, a tool that helps relocated employees acclimate to their new city right away.

Lynn was a Senior Associate at Autonomy Ventures prior to founding and being the CEO of Pivt, and at Autonomy Ventures, she helped find startups that would be investable for the firm, managed teams and helped these startups build and grow. She is also a Board Member and the Vice President of Panels for the New York Venture Community and a mentor at For Women in Business at Yeshiva University and Astia.

From the Dorm Room

Lynn thrived in the liberal arts experience.

She attended Franklin & Marshall College, a small school in Pennsylvania, where she majored in Government and Sociology. So, obviously, that’s very different from where she is today, in the technology and startup phase. However, she still feels that college was hugely beneficial and helped prepare her for every step of her career – because it’s where she learned to love learning and how to learn new skill sets, and that’s critical in the workforce today.

Still, even when you enjoy college, senior year is really tough. Lynn suggests that you really have to shield yourself from what everyone else is talking about and doing, and really try to focus on what's best for you. “Going into senior year, a lot of your friends will have job commitments at financial firms, a lot of them will ‘know what they're doing,’ and the important thing to remember that I wish I knew that then is this is your first job.” It's not the be all end all, and you probably will switch over to a new profession at some point in your career. “So, it's about accumulating a great skill set to kind of prepare you for what's to come in the future.”

You also want to focus on your interests, in yourself, and try not worry because your friends are going to law school, or your other friends are going into investment banking. “So, really try to box them out and hone in on the skill set you want to work on, and your likes and dislikes. And the rest will kind of take you from there.”

To the Boardroom

After graduating from Franklin & Marshall, Lynn moved to London to work for Bloomberg Law. She thought it made some sense with her Government major. But the manager that interviewed her thought she seemed to really enjoy speaking with other people and working with customers, and they suggested that she apply for message compliance, where 80% of her work involved working directly with clients.

A lot of college students are worried that they're not going to be prepared when they enter the working world, that they won’t have the right knowledge or skill set, but Lynn has some advice:

“(A), keep an open mind; (B), really embrace the opportunity; and (C), don't get your mind stuck on following a specific path. What you learn in Brandeis and great colleges here in the US is you learn how to think. You learn how to interact with people and solve problems.”

Embrace every opportunity and look to see what you can squeeze out at each job and opportunity, in terms of skill set, in terms of the people and relationships that you make through those. How can you use those first jobs to better your story? How can you use it to build your personal brand and allow you to be a more valuable employee, and also a more valuable citizen?

“That, along with innovation, is really what's going to get you anywhere.”

Because Lynn had no technology background and no business background before she started Pivt, but she did have an issue she wanted to solve. So she learned, she worked, and she got a job to support herself while she learned and worked some more. Then, eventually, she was able to shift to Pivt full-time.

“For me, what keeps me going every day is really the mission of making everyone’s experience being relocated much more seamless and to make sure that people take unfamiliar opportunities in faraway places and expand their outlook. And so, whenever things get tough, which is often, you always kind of have to remind yourself of that and keep going.”


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