The Nth Degree Podcast
On the podcast, Timm sheds light on the parts of our stories that we don’t tell to show everyone that transformation is possible if we work for it. Here, you’ll hear stories to ignite your heart, renew your spirit, and equip you to chase your dreams, knowing that you are not alone.
About the Podcast
Want to take your career from stuck to unstoppable? To reach your fullest potential? Well, here’s the story they don’t tell you. There are no “meteoric rises” to the top. There are no “overnight sensations.” Everyone has struggles and challenges they have to overcome. The purpose of this podcast is to shed light on the parts of our stories that we don’t tell– to show everyone that transformation is possible if we work for it. This is the place to demystify the whole idea of transforming your career and defining success on your own terms. Here you’ll hear stories to ignite your heart, renew your spirit, and equip you to chase your dreams, knowing that you are not alone.
Closer Look into The Nth Degree: Episode 14 with Nina Godiwalla
Whether you can relate to this description or not, you may be surprised to hear that the woman behind the refrigerator worked for Fortune 500 corporations, founded and ran her own leadership and management training company, taught for the University of Texas MBA program, keynoted at places like NASA, the White House, and a TEDx Conference, and has advanced degrees in liberal arts from Dartmouth and an MBA from Wharton.
This woman, Nina Godiwalla, is just one of the fifty incredible individuals who have been featured on Tracy Timm’s, “The Nth Degree Podcast with Tracy Timm.”
In the blog post associated with the podcast, Timm contextualizes her interview with Godiwalla:
“In addition to being a dear friend and a previous business partner, Nina Godiwalla is an expert in leadership, diversity, and women in the business world. She is the best-selling author of “Suits: A Woman on Wall Street,” which I had the pleasure of reading while I was working at an investment bank myself. The New York Times describes that book as ‘the Devil Wears Prada of investment banking.’
That is not an exaggeration.
Nina and I crossed paths in 2013, a year after I had read her book and written her an email asking for some advice. One year later, Nina emailed me back, and an hour and a half after that, I had a job working for her start-up company. It was a whirlwind, to say the least.
I’ve learned so much from this phenomenal woman, and I’m so excited to share her story here with you, today. Enjoy, as Nina and I talk about the practical ways you can take baby steps (and even giant leaps) toward living your passion.”
Timm began her conversation with Godiwalla by asking her to share her background, which Godiwalla highlighted as being filled with uncertainty as to what she was going to do with her life:
“I started out as a finance major, which took me straight to New York City to Wall Street. I spent my summers there is an intern, then I spent a couple of years in the analyst program, which was a very exciting place.
I’ve been out of school for four years, and a lot of my friends were getting ready for business school. I didn’t feel quite ready for business school because I wasn’t sure if the business world was the right place for me. So I went to Dartmouth and I got this Masters in liberal studies.
I was just searching online for something where I could explore and kind of find myself. I wrote a draft of a book about my experience on Wall Street. I wasn’t ready to publish the book after I wrote it, so I went on to business school and got my MBA because I still hadn’t decided what I want to do.
I published the book, and that really changed my career because it got me into a whole different realm. One of the themes of my book about my experience on Wall Street was the fact that it was a very exclusive culture, and I was really challenging that sort of environment.
Diversity became a very hot topic when I was doing interviews. I was learning about myself and learning how passionate I was about diversity, which brought me to my current role.”
Would you advise young people to play more to their strengths or do the hard stuff and make up for what you’re naturally not good at?
“I wouldn’t advise that you always have to go find your passion right from the get-go. The reason I wanted to go finance initially is because I was paying for my own college. When I look back, I love that. I had that constraint, I had to think about money. I had to make sure I could support myself. I am so grateful I was in that situation early on because I had to be very practical about what I had to do.
I couldn’t just leave everything and just think ‘oh, I just know the money will come in if I just do absolutely what I love.’ I don’t think the world works that way. I’m thrilled that I was able to play to my strengths and find something I was passionate about and make money doing that.”
Timm then segwayed into dicussing Godiwalla’s book, what drew the two women together in the first place:
“I found your book when I was in a place where I really needed somebody to understand where I was, understand what I was going through, and then show me that there was a way out. Can you talk about your story a little bit in the book and the message that you left for people there?”
Godiwalla responded by discussing her experience in the investment banking world and what she took away from that experience:
“Part of [the book] was about the journey of the first year [in investment banking]. It was very much a hazing culture, [and] it was hard for me to go through that experience. The other aspect of the book flashes back on my life growing up and what brought me to that place.
Growing up in an immigrant family that was very much obsessed with making money because my parents came here with no money. They really looked to the next generation, to their children, to really accomplish that American Dream.
It’s flashing back between how I grew up and the pressures I had and how that brought me to Wall Street, then going through that experience on Wall Street and thinking, ‘this is supposed to be the pinnacle of the American Dream,’ and realizing how little I could relate to the culture and the people there in Wall Street.
That this wasn’t the rewarding gold at the end of the rainbow I was expecting, that I wasn’t going to be happy there, I really struggled with.”
Timm closed the interview asking Godiwalla, “do you feel like you’ve found that place now and how would you advise young people to go about finding their optimal work environment?
In short, Godiwalla’s response was, “I do feel like I have found that place. I think that’s it’s a very hard place to get. I think part of it is [that] I took risks I was very passionate about. But I always did it in a somewhat practical way. I always believe I need to be independent, but I really looked for careers within the business world that allowed for creativity.
When I went to Dartmouth, I was very clear on what I was not good at, and I actually went there with the idea that I didn’t want to be embarrassed in the workplace by not being good at certain things, but I was happy to do it while I was at school.
So I remember I wasn’t a very strong writer, [which was] one of the things I really focused on when I was getting that degree.”
Godiwalla finally closed the interview with the number one piece of advice she would give someone navigating an early career transformation:
“Having a balanced approach [is] probably my biggest piece of advice. If you’re able to pursue what you want and you’re able to do it in a way that’s very practical, I think that’s very valuable.
When we don’t have those [financial] constraints, I think it really slows us down and doesn’t allow us to really become what we want. So I would actually look for those challenges.”
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Adam Carroll is an impactful speaker, business consultant, and serial entrepreneur. he’s passionate about helping people and organizations architect a life and culture of fulfillment, progress, and achievement. A professional speaker, author, documentary filmmaker #BBD Podcast host, Adam has been Helping people succeed faster by building a bigger life, not a bigger lifestyle.
Tracy graduated from Yale University with a BA in psychology in 2010. She began her professional career on Wall Street with RBS Marks & International Banking in the field of high yield and distressed credit sales. There, she learned the value of working with highly intelligent colleagues and challenging herself to master the new world of finance. Though financially successful, Tracy loathed her job on Wall Street, her soul begging her brain to make a change.
In 2013, she shifted her career focus to leadership development, serving as the CEO and Founder of MindWorks Leadership for 10 months before becoming a client solutions manager for SVI in 2014. She shifted her career focus for a second time in 2014 when she resigned from her job and founded The Nth Degree Career Academy, the namesake of the Nth Degree Podcast. She still functions as CEO of The Nth Degree Career Academy today.
In 2015, she also joined R.H. Sweeney Associates as a Human Capital Advisor, a position she still holds today. Tracy works with business owners and executives to understand their people, ensure alignment, and move confidently forward to accomplish their business goals. Utilizing a blend of science, technology, and knowledge transfer, she helps employees, departments, and organizations become more successful naturally.