She meant that when it comes to making a difference or changing the world, what you do is not important; it is how you do it. That is not the only advice I received regarding work ethic. My uncle once told me that "It is better to clean bathrooms at Intel than to be the manager of a fast food restaurant." He was trying to encourage his daughter to fight for a job at a top company, rather than a better job at a company with less room for growth. While I do not necessarily agree with him, I realize an important point, the guy cleaning the bathrooms has an important job. If the manager takes a week-long vacation, the employees either manage themselves, or one of the assistants takes over. But if the bathroom cleaner goes on vacation? Just try and imagine...
Take some time and acknowledge the people whose best work is transparent-when done well, we do not notice. More importantly, realize how meaningful a seemingly menial task can be and what an impact it can have. Focus on the little things in order to make the bigger picture even prettier. In your time here at Illinois, you may find parts of your life menial or un-important. Embrace the experience- every little thing matters, even as a lesser part of a bigger act. Do a small favor for a friend, because even if it seems petty or unimportant, or even if it goes unacknowledged, remember that we live for that one time when we can, even unknowingly, make a difference in someone else's life.
Have a great week,
Computer Engineering, Class of 2017