Advice from Our Dads

The world is full of people wanting to give us advice – often unsolicited! But when it comes from our parents we tend to give it our full attention. This week, in recognition of Father’s Day this coming Sunday, June 17 in the U.S., we wanted to share advice from our fathers.

As the University & Diversity Specialist at JDA, I have the fun opportunity to engage with many college students, including our summer interns. I reached out to several young women working as JDA interns this summer to learn about the best advice they had received from their dads. In the process, I reflected on my own dad, and what I learned from him.

My dad taught me that your work ethic means everything. Regardless, of where you start or come from, your work ethic will change where you finish. My father did not graduate high school. While this is not something he proudly declares, it’s something I mention when I begin to describe his tenacity and work ethic. He managed to own and operate a car audio shop in his 20’s, which set a foundation for him to invest in multiple housing properties over the years. He was a self-employed electrician who always had jobs lined up (mostly because he can start a conversation with anyone, anywhere). He worked hard in a 30-year marriage to raise and send my sister and me to college – debt free. Thanks Dad for not only setting a notable example, but showing me, I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.

Obviously, my dad taught me a lot – through his words and examples. And now I’ve had the opportunity learning from the fatherly advice shared by the JDA interns. Their words of wisdom are something we all can learn from. #ThanksDad

Jenna Fitzgerald
Customer Experience Intern, Scottsdale, AZ
Rising Senior at Arizona State University – Go Sun Devils!!!

Growing up, I don’t think my parents missed even a single track and field meet of mine. Whether I was running the 4×400 or competing in the pole vault, they were always there cheering me on. Throughout these meets, my dad would extend the greatest piece of advice I’ve ever received from him: “Breathe – You’ve got this.”

He would remind me of this over and over again. This simple phrase has since transcended my track and field  career and now exists as my personal motto. In whatever I do, I remember these words. I remember the sense of confidence my dad worked to instill within me. I remember that I have the power within myself to achieve anything I set my mind to.

Thanks for everything, Dad.

Ellen Liang
PMG Intern, Waukesha, WI
Rising Sophomore at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Life can be challenging. While at times we may wish there is one clear cut path in life that can provide us with all of life’s answers, there isn’t one. Going through my teenage years, I often questioned myself where I want to be in my future. I would talk to my dad and try to get answers. He was open to having deep conversations with me to help me figure out what I wanted in life, but the single most important advice he’d always give me is “Be yourself, and believe in yourself.” He didn’t want me following what everyone else was doing, but instead he wanted me to follow my own passions. He encouraged me to always stay true to myself by putting my mind and energy on things that are important to me and to have confidence in everything I do. Because of my dad, I learned to live life knowing that while there is no one path in life; it’s important to find my own path.

Sara Estes
Business Development Intern, Scottsdale, AZ
Rising Senior at the University of Tennessee

It’s hard to pick the best piece of advice my dad has ever given me, because he loves to talk! However, the most important thing he’s taught me is the significance of having a plan. I remember I was 16 and had just earned my driver’s license. I was headed to the grocery store when my dad stopped me just before I left. He asked me what my plan was. At that point, I had just known that I wanted to pick up some fruit, but Dad made it much more than that. He made sure at that moment that I knew the route I would take, what to do if there was heavy traffic, and that it was important to turn on my headlights if it started raining. Sure enough, it rained that day!

You must plan for everything in your life if you expect certain things to happen – it’s important to keep in mind where you are going and where you want to end up. Because of my dad, I know the outcomes that I want, and I have the determination to work toward them. Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to be resilient and ambitious in everything I do.

Abigail Siner
Channel Marketing Intern, Dallas, TX
Rising Senior at Wilson College

I have been blessed with extraordinary parents who motivate me to follow my passion when it comes to decisions in my life. My father, a role model of mine, has contributed a great deal to whom I would like to become as I grow into adulthood. Growing up, the one expression he would tell my sister and me consistently is to stay positive. When I was offered this internship with JDA, I was overwhelmed with emotions of excitement but also nervousness. A couple of days before my first day of work, my dad shared some advice that resonated with me, which I’ve grown up trying to follow. Here’s what he told me: 1) Work and life are marathons, not sprints, so breathe a little. 2) Give people the benefit of the doubt. They may be going through some tough times that are causing them to act a certain way. Everyone is going through life the best way they know how. 3) Show up early, not just on time. Showing up is 70 percent of business. 4) Work your butt off, how you do anything is how you do everything. 5) Lastly, be yourself and be proud of it.

Payton Burnett
Human Resources Intern, Scottsdale, AZ
Rising Senior at Baylor University

I’ve always thought my dad was the best dad in the world.  Now, the older I get, the more I realize that not only is he an incredible father to my sister and me, but he is a genius businessman and a one-of-a-kind person.  Getting the chance to meet people who have worked with him and hearing how much they respect and love him gives me great pride and a perspective of him I have never experienced.  His patience, commitment, humility, intelligence, and kindness are inspiring to say the least and are just a few things I admire about him.  My dad is full of wisdom from learning from life’s experiences, both failures and successes.  He has given me countless pieces of valuable advice, but actions speak louder than words, and he has taught me even more through the example he sets for me.  He has shown me that hard work pays off, he values family above all, and his consistent embodiment of the Golden Rule, even when it’s hard, is part of what makes him so special.  I have never felt more loved by anyone than him and my mom, and I know that nothing I do could change that.  These words don’t seem sufficient to describe the wonderful man he is, so you’ll have to meet him yourself!  I would not be half the person I am today without my dad.

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