Seiji Osawa – University of Michigan 2016
Where did you go to school?
I attended the University of Michigan where I majored in Economics, and minored in Community Action and Social Change. In my time at the University I was the Captain of the Men’s Water Polo Team, a member of Students for Clean Energy, “Know Tomorrow,” and The Detroit Empowerment Project.
How did you find Arrive?
Being the first Michigan grad at Arrive, I was lucky enough to catch Kari and Kylee at the Career fair my first semester senior year. I had an easy-going yet surprisingly all-encompassing conversation with Kari. At the time I knew very little about the logistics industry at all. What caught me was that we hardly touched on industry specifics, and more so just talked about our walks of life. Mainly, how certain people can connect with others on any level. Be it business, friendship, talking to strangers on a whim, or in my case, coaching/mentoring. Kari implored, or rather in her ever gracious word choice told me; “yeahhh…you could slang some freight.” From there my mind started churning and the fact that I would be able to watch Arrive grow from seeds to trees was extremely enticing.
What keeps you here?
Again, the prospect of being able to watch myself grow within a growing company has been a huge influence on me not hitting that snooze button at 5:30 everyday. Watching myself, my peers, and the company flourish is exactly what I signed up for and we haven’t missed a beat. On top of that when I speak to my roommates, and friends who have recently graduated they are unanimous in stating that they don’t love their co-workers. I can’t speak from experience, but a blind bird could tell you that when you’re flying with the flock you’re gonna get where you wanna go way quicker. Coming into work everyday at 0700 isn’t always a blast but when you know you love who you’re working with and EVERYONE has their eyes on a similar prize 0700 is toes in the water an ass in the sand.
Have any advice for soon to be college grads?
If I were talking to myself a year ago today, the first thing I would say is that NOBODY knows exactly what they want to do or who they want to be upon graduation. If you do, more power to ya…but it’s just not the case for everyone, regardless of how your peers make it sound. Trying to find the perfect fit as far as where you’re moving, who you’re working for, living with, etc shouldn’t be the goal. Life is about a sequence of small wins and I’d say graduating is a HUGE win to begin with. So don’t think you need to hit a home run right out of the gates, because you may never find a “perfect” job, or “perfect” living situation. You have to work for it and create whatever “perfect” is for yourself in whichever moment you find yourself in. The future is way more of a puzzle than it is set in stone, and as you go through the next few years you start being able to put those pieces hopefully start coming together. Secondly; jump off the deep end and take a chance when you’re young! You got nothing to lose… if you’re going to make a big investment in something do it when you’re young! Take a chance while you can and if you fall on your face, you fall on your face and have time to get back up. As you start putting that puzzle together and gaining attachments you lose the ability to take leaps of faith due to family, or status growing. So why not seize the moment you’re in now, and take a step back from what you think you need to be doing and take a stab at what you might want to be doing, think big. My dad always asked me, and I ask myself every day; “What would you want to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Then try and figure out how to scrap and claw until that thought blossoms into a possibility!
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