Summer vacation is over, and school is back in session.  As the kids (and some of us big kids) are back to the books, we’re feeling a bit nostalgic.  (No thanks to you, Alice Cooper for getting our hopes up – school was never actually “out forever.”)

We asked a few Zifters to reflect on their academic years – from kindergarten through college – and share one thing they learned in school that has stuck with them through today.  Do you relate?

“No matter how hard you work on something, and how solid the work may be –  if it’s not packaged and presented well – you can and most probably will still fail.”
Scott England, vice president of alliances and strategic partnerships

In abstract math class in college, I learned how to mathematically prove 0.9r (repeating to infinity) is the exact same number as 1. Not just really close or rounded up, but IS 1. I got a solid F in the class but it’s the one thing I learned from it, and I still show it off to impress fellow nerds to this day (Disclaimer: does NOT win over the ladies.)

    • Step 1: Set x=.9r
    • Step 2: Times both sides by 10 to get 10x =9.9r
    • Step 3: Subtract x from both sides to get 9x=9
    • Step 4: Divide both sides by 9 and now you have x=1
    • Thus .9r = 1”

Ben Smith, production design manager 

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”
Andrew Sigmund, senior manager channel engagement 

“Sometimes, mother does not know best…especially when it comes to fashion choices. (Sorry, mom!)”
Lauren Phelps, channel engagement manager

 “Make friends with the parking lot attendant so they don’t turn you in when skipping class!”
Dede Houston, director of marketing demand generation

 “Don’t tell your fraternity that their hazing is weak.”
Ches Spencer, senior manager of customer support services

 “Don’t register for a lab that starts before 7:45am. Or anything before 11.”
Beth Darst, customer support specialist

 “Kindergarten rules still apply in the workplace. Share nice and don’t eat the rubber cement.”
Steve Levesque, director of finance.

 “It doesn’t pay to be the class clown all the time. Just when the teacher is away.”
Vincent Quarles III, channel engagement manager

 “I was a teacher and used to always tell my 5th graders – say it and forget it, write it and regret it. On social media- once it’s out there, it’s OUT THERE. You can’t deny it.”
Jennifer Mueller, customer support services

 “Don’t think that just because you are done with school you are done learning.”
Nick Mandikos, sales operations manager

 “You spend a 1/3 of your life sleeping and a 1/3 of your life working. Invest in a great mattress and a great career.”
Edward Mitchell, software engineer

 “Remember Who You Are. This is something my mother would say to me almost every time I left the house. At the time I didn’t think much of it, but looking back now it means so much more. To me it’s about values and recognizing what makes you a better person whether it is in school, your career, your family or whatever. Don’t ever forget what makes you who you are. Don’t get pulled into things that would cause you to go against your values. Instead use those values to become who you want to be. There is a great video that supports this idea. Enjoy.”
David Buffaloe, vice president of marketing

 Awww, David.  

 And on that note – What did you learn in your school age years that has impacted your life? What lessons drove you to the place you are today? We’d love to know.  Share in the comments section below!