“Opportunities sprout from surprising places, so rather than focus on where you want to be in the next ten years, focus on whether what you’re doing right now is challenging and intellectually stimulating. As long as you’re learning, you’re growing.” – Jessica Oppetit, General Manager, ViaVan
Jessica Oppetit graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2009, having studied both Commerce and Law. It’s a versatile combination she says laid the foundation for further study at Harvard Business School in later years, and a career that’s seen her go on to work as a consultant with companies like Apple and European ride-sharing company, ViaVan.
“Hindsight has taught me that University, particularly undergraduate, is set-up to teach students how to think and not how to work. I have managed to pick-up the intricacies of every business that I’ve worked in within the first few months of starting. When I look at CVs or interview people I’m much more interested in how they think than what they know,” she says. “I spent a lot more time in the library during undergrad and a lot more time debating ideas with student on the lawn during postgrad. I was also at a slightly different stage of life when I went to Harvard Business School (HBS). Once you’ve worked for a few years you have a new-found appreciation for student life. The ability to read endlessly and debate random topics is a privilege, which was lost on me in undergrad.”
Upon completing her studies, Jessica dived into the world of consulting, the beginning of a career that saw her move onto an operations role at Apple, before joining ViaVan in London, where she is now the General Manager. However, this wasn’t a planned progression. Each role came about as the result of opportunities presenting themselves, and what was right for Jessica at the time.