Fernanda Gaete ’22 is a rising senior studying finance and business analytics and a 2020-21 Hackworth Fellow at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Views are her own.
There is a single word that summarizes my reason for becoming a Hackworth Fellow, and that word is storytelling. My name is Fernanda Gaete, and I am a student and a person whose college experience has been built upon a passion for people. As someone who grew up living in five different countries before the age of 10, I was constantly engaging in conversations with new people. My interest in the unique stories that people carry with them exploded when I got to college and began meeting new people each and every day. What I learned along the way is that many people don’t feel like they have an interesting story to tell. This discovery led me on a journey to help people understand that even life’s smallest nuances can become the most fascinating stories—we just have to know how to tell them.
Upon becoming a fellow, I learned that I would be challenged to make a direct impact on Campus Ethics at SCU. This is when I saw the opportunity to blend my passion for ethics with my business education. Throughout the past three years, it has become clear to me that storytelling is a big deal when it comes to getting a job of any kind. One of the toughest questions that people face in preparing for interviews is the infamous, “Tell me about yourself.” My initial idea developed over time into a vision for a guide that students can use to explore not only their personal stories, but to dive into an exploration of their authentic selves.
The purpose of this guide is to expose a target audience of first- and second-year university students to the importance of exploring who they are and who they want to be in the future. I have a wealth of experience in mentorship of this age group at SCU through peer advising and peer educating, and in almost every advising appointment, I get a question along the lines of, How do I prepare for an internship or job interview? My answer is to always begin not with just studying the company you are interviewing for, but also by studying yourself. I believe that the key to nailing an interview is thorough introspection, because it allows you to turn the interview into a values- and storytelling-based conversation that will likely leave interviewers wanting to learn more about you as a person.
In terms of the content of the guide, there are four main areas of focus, including an introspective study on confidence, background and culture, values, and of course storytelling. Each section is explicitly connected to ethics, and offers students the opportunity to access Ethics Center resources quickly and easily through QR codes built into the document. What started as a research project turned into a project with the goal of connecting students to campus ethics resources that they otherwise likely would never have discovered.
In addition to the guide’s four main sections and links to Markkula sources, I also wanted to build in the opportunity to network. Oftentimes, students don’t know where to start when it comes to networking, so I have instantly connected them with four high-achieving, successful upperclassmen who are eager to offer their advice and mentorship to anyone who takes the time to reach out to them. One of the most fascinating aspects of my college experience has been the cycle of stewardship that takes place in the world of college mentorship, and I wanted to contribute to that cycle in a way that would allow even the most remote students to build relationships with mentors and find role models within SCU.
As my writing for this project came to a close, my attention eventually turned to exploring how I would make this resource accessible to the student population that I am targeting. I am excited at the prospect of partnering with SCU Residential Life to distribute the resource to all first and second year students next fall, as they enter the new school year. The earlier students become aware of the importance of introspection, the longer they will have to actively work on the pursuit of personal and professional growth.
About Fernanda Gaete
"I’m a rising senior studying finance and business analytics. Though originally from Santiago, Chile, I was fortunate to have spent much my childhood abroad, living in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States —all before the age of ten. I graduated from high school in Portland, OR, the first place I truly called home.
At SCU, I’m involved with the business school as a member of the ACE Leadership Program and as an academic Peer Advisor. I’m excited about broadening my involvement in the world of ethics, as my “Ethics in Business” course changed what I wanted my future impact on the world to be. I aspire to a career in corporate finance or management consulting, but thanks to my ethics class I know that I want to live intentionally and make the world and the people around me better each and every day. I hope to use my platform as a Hackworth Fellow as a vessel for storytelling with a goal of highlighting SCU’s diversity and uniqueness, as well as opening up opportunities for conversation, acceptance, and change. I love spending time outdoors and am passionate about health and fitness."