We’re raising our freshly-brewed cups of coffee to Evan Perlinger, who has accepted an offer from Starbucks as a full-time software engineer.
Perlinger, Chapter President of the University of Central Missouri’s chapter, earned this highly sought after role following a summer internship for the world-famous coffee company.
Perlinger attributes his success to time management skills and a willingness to strive for new, difficult opportunities.
The Art of Balancing Tasks and Responsibilities
One of the main skills that allowed Perlinger to achieve the Starbucks internship and engineer position was time management. This was necessary while being involved in several organizations and working a part-time job while taking on his undergraduate course load.
Between all this and the applications he completed, he had to carefully budget his time so that each task was completed to the best of his ability. That’s why Perlinger believes that a good leader always strives for the best, as he has done in his undergraduate career.
“I always try to push myself as much as I can and see how much I can handle. My reasoning behind this is that I am in college. If I do end up overworking myself or over-involving myself in organizations, it is okay to take a step back or even fail. Failures help you learn and become even more successful.”
Be Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable
While striving for the best, Perlinger continually stepped outside of his comfort zone and accepted any failures that came along the way.
“If you are comfortable where you are in life, you aren't actively doing anything to strive for higher achievement. Being uncomfortable forces you to change and grow as a person and allows you to get closer to the best version of yourself.”
Perlinger found opportunities to practice this mentality with the NSLS. "The NSLS has helped me become a better leader by giving me the opportunity to complete the Foundations of Leadership and the Advanced Certification of leadership. Being the president and hosting the induction events put me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow into a better leader with each event I hosted."
Perlinger carries this value of seeking discomfort for the purposes of growth into his concept of leadership. "Leadership means becoming a better version of yourself in order to inspire and help others grow in their personal and career goals."
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Perlinger’s Advice for Future Leaders
For Perlinger, his advice comes down to embracing the unknown and being allergic to the word 'no.'
"If you are looking to become a better leader, say yes to opportunities that come your way, even if it is scary! I look back and I realize how much I have grown from simply saying yes to new opportunities.”
Saying yes to opportunities could include something as small as responding to an email, like Perlinger replying to an email invitation to join the NSLS, which started him down the road to eventually becoming president of his school’s chapter.
“I definitely did not think I was qualified to be the president, but I learned. I messed up a few things and learned from them, and I continued to grow my leadership skills.”
Perlinger is finishing up his senior year, after which he plans to begin his full-time position at Starbucks while pursuing a master’s degree. So when you get your next cup of coffee or pumpkin spiced latte at Starbucks, think about this NSLS member's incredible accomplishment!
Leaning into discomfort is an important step for growth, whether personal or professional. Check out how another one of our members used grit and determination to step outside of her comfort zone to overcome obstacles.