From kitchen appliances to footwear developer Lind says that it’s not what you have (what is out of your control), but making the most of what you have (what you can do something about).
When Mark Lind ('13) started his journey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison he had no idea that his love for engineering, problem-solving, and sports could all combine into one career. Just five years after graduating from Minnehaha Academy, however, Lind is working in an exciting role at Adidas as a footwear developer.
“I think that even from a young age I was always interested in math and science,” Lind says. “I was never the best at all of my classes, but I liked to problem solve. If you really break down engineering it’s creative problem solving—finding the most efficient way to do something.”
The Mindset Makes the Man
While he seems young to have landed a job that combines his training, talent, and interests so well, Lind emphasizes that this didn’t “just happen.” Instead, he attributes his current position in large part to a mindset of taking advantage of the opportunities in front of him and making the most of them.
“After my sophomore research opportunity [in polymer foams] I applied to every internship in the sports industry and didn’t hear anything back,” he shares. “It was very discouraging.”
But instead of giving up he took a position in research and development with Subzero Wolf, a kitchen appliance manufacturer. It wasn’t the arena he had hoped to work in, but he worked hard and learned what he could.
A year and a half later he put himself out there again and landed an internship opportunity with Adidas in Germany.
"Totally uprooting yourself and moving to a foreign country can be very difficult," he says. While the work was exciting, he wasn't sure that he wanted to settle in Germany.
Again, Lind worked hard and learned all he could, while still watching for that "better fit." Ultimately, he landed the role of Assistant Footwear Developer with Adidas in Portland.
Lind shares that the mindset he credits with his success was consistently taught, modeled, and emphasized by various faculty at Minnehaha Academy. “[My] biggest take away was that it’s not necessarily about what you have but making the most of what you have."
The spiritual influence he received at MA also helped guide and develop Lind's critical thinking skills throughout his life. “Many philosophical issues require deep, critical analysis and I think that has helped me within my education and professional life.”
To those just starting out he offers this encouragment: "There are a lot of people who feel envious...if I only had this experience, this school, this internship...but it’s much more about using the resources you have and taking the full advantage of them.”
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