Latin School of Chicago

Annual Report 2016-2017 Stories

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36 LATIN SCHOOL OF CHICAGO P eter Jackson '97 loves talking to current Latin students. Recently he was a speaker at a Life After Latin event, and he asked the students to raise their hands if they knew what they wanted to do as a career when they got older. "About half raised their hands. But it was actually a trick question. I told the other half of the students that when I was their age I wouldn't have raised my hand. And I told them that it was okay not to know right now. The important thing I stressed is that students have to be engaged in whatever they choose to do." Peter, a consultant for marketing, sales and growth strategy, thinks these types of messages are vital for students who are coming of age in a rapidly changing world where tomorrow's jobs might not yet exist. Peter, who has held positions at Groupon, Truebrew Outfitters and is now working on a business acquisition, is a true entrepreneur, evident when he tells students not to be afraid to tinker and possibly fail. "I think a fixed mindset is really limiting to students' growth. I tell students to play around on a small scale. Something may work or it may not." Peter reasons that the students will learn more from their failures. Peter is currently a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and is a frequent speaker at Latin alumni and student events. He relishes dishing out practical career advice, particularly around non-linear thinking, often characterized as having multiple starting points from which one can apply a solution to a problem. "I love it when someone says, 'Peter, you gave me awesome advice,'" he said. Peter is sometimes awestruck at the changes he has seen since entering the workforce a relatively short time ago. "With the pace of technology, the professional world continues to be more VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous – not less," he said. Peter believes that in our 21st century VUCA world, students who can develop a growth mindset, who have the ability to be creative and find multiple solutions to a problem, will have the advantage. This is the kind of insight he always sought when he was a student and at the beginning of his career. Peter also supports Latin students by giving to the E.E. Ford Student Life Endowment Fund. He is eager to see how the fund can enhance the student experience, be it providing funding for a student for Project Week or allowing a student to participate in a sport. "What I remember most about Latin are the friends and relationships I made. They continue to this day. I made deep bonds at Latin," he said. Connecting with Students

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