Origin Stories

As part of the offsite, participants had to share their origin stories. It wasn’t put that way, but it was part of the ice breaker exercise.

One person spoke about an idyllic childhood in a communist country. Since there were so many constraints it was a simple time. When pressed, it might not have been all good. They did have to stand in crazy lines for hours and the shelves in the stores were empty.

Another person conveyed the challenges of being bi-racial. They didn’t know that it was important until high school when people started confronting them with “what are you?” This led to much soul searching. Someone else lost a parent at a very tender age and had to overcome being a nerdy outcast but found a circle of great friends on the way to great success.

It seemed everyone had a struggle to overcome–although everyone seemed to see their struggle as simply part of their origin. Made me wonder if there is something about the expereinces people have that draw them to different types of work. This offsite was at a non-profit.

What would this ice-breaker be like in the investment banking industry. Would participants talk about growing up with cooks and servants? About prep school, the tennis instructor and the golf team? Would they talk about meeting their future spouses at a Renaissance Weekend at an exclusive Hilton Head hotel? Would they talk about their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents preceding them at their Ivy League college? About getting a loan from Dad to start their first firm or build up their investment portfolio or to pay off a bad business break? Would they bemoan the challenge in getting a good apartment in Manhattan?

Just wondering about origin stories.

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