What Makes You Unique?

Written by Jacqueline Newell

As my year of being a Leadership Consultant is coming to a close, I have been doing a lot of job searching. This trek, besides giving me a headache and mild anxiety, has made me feel like I am a senior in high school again, reflecting on “who I am.” (If anyone has the answer to this question, I would love to hear your insight.)

I found one company recently that asked “what makes you unique?” Now, if this were a test in high school, I probably would have started drawing an elaborate tessellation that depicts my life story and would have geometric properties that would make my mother proud. Unfortunately, this answer box doesn’t have room for doodles but it did get me thinking – how did I get to be this way? (When two people love each other very much…)

So this is what I came up with: In sixth grade, I made a pivotal decision that altered the course of my life forever – I started playing ice hockey. Although I was a complete tripod when I stepped onto the ice, I was determined to become the next Bobby Orr, or at least be a cool female athlete like Mia Hamm. I played on multiple teams each year, which eventually included premier league teams and the boys’ team in high school. I became incredibly competitive – mostly with myself but definitely with others, too. I became one of the fastest female skaters in Maine and made an attempt to ask Milan Lucic to prom while having an internship with the Boston Bruins. Although my time playing on teams ended with the Susquehanna club hockey team, I am determined to find myself a league when I finish traveling for the semester.

Having grown up with older brothers, playing on male sports teams, winning food eating contests and having an affinity for short haircuts, I have been in male dominated culture for much of my life. When I went through sorority recruitment, I was continually asked why I wanted to go Greek. I often said that I was tired of being one of the guys, I was ready to be one of the girls. Now, here I am, 4 years later and employed by my national sorority. You could say I am one of the guys or one of the girls, but I prefer to think I’m in a league of my own.


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