April 26, 2009
Leadership coach Colleen Yamaguchi learned the value of vision and commitment
Now: Leadership and career-transition coach
Then: Political intern
Current position: Leadership, professional development and career-transition coach and lawyer; affiliated with Career Action Groups and with the nonprofit Executive Development Institute in Seattle.
First job: Executive intern, Hawaii governor's office.
How I got the job: Applied for an internship with the state Attorney General's Office while a student at the University of Hawaii. I was planning to go to law school and got pulled into the governor's office instead. I was surprised, and disappointed, because I had little interest in politics at the time.
What I learned: I saw the dedication and strong work ethic of the administrative assistants and all the staff working in the governor's office and realized that public service involves a lot of sacrifice. The administrative assistants were all ambitious, committed, bright and had visions for making a difference. They took very seriously their duty to serve the Governor and his constituents but were also caring individuals who did not take themselves too seriously. Sense of humor and humility in being public servants kept everyone's ego in check. It gave me respect for professionals wanting to serve others, who had talent and ability to do whatever they wanted, but who stayed true to their values, passion and vision.
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