Thursday, November 3, 2011

FRED Friday...Meet Rob

FRED Friday…Meet Rob

I met Robert Thomas MacRae twelve years ago while interning at the Mothership in 1999…we were both Cast Members on the Walt Disney World College Program. (Quite possibly the best summer ever…) 
Since that summer Rob and I have not only kept in touch, but we’ve also spent a few years as roommates, been there for one another as we pursued graduate school at the same time, endured the doldrums of unemployment together, and the coolest part - we’re still the best of friends to this day. 
Like many of my closest friends, Rob is a FRED for many reasons.  When I think about the attributes that make Freds, FREDs…one of my favorites is the idea that you can re-invent yourself regularly.  Rob has re-invented himself regularly since I’ve known him.  He also goes OneMoreStep, and inspires, motivates, and encourages his friends to do the same…I’m glad I’m one of them.
In 2006 many of my friends and I lived in Orlando and worked for Disney…for many of us, that had been our goal for as long as we had known each other.  The weather was great.  We not only had great jobs, but we were also passionate about our product – Disney...let’s face it…tough to beat it.  Rob wanted more.  He wanted to learn more, do more, and experience more…so that he could one day add more value to his relationships both at work and in his personal life.  He decided to pursue graduate school for an MBA.  
Of course we visited for the Harvard vs. Yale football game
Rob prepared, studied, and committed to his goal of getting into his top three prospective business schools (Harvard, Yale, & MIT) with more focus and dedication than I’d ever seen out of him before.  Long story short…he got into all three, and he ultimately chose Harvard Business School, and went on to graduate in 2008 with his MBA, just like he planned.  He re-invented his life, just like he planned.
FRED Moments I’ll Never Forget…
A few of us who are close to Rob supported him and cheered him on as he went through his several-month-long application process/journey into Harvard.  In doing so, we were inspired…FREDs also have a way of inspiring those around them, sometimes without even trying.  Rob does this…
Inspired, I decided that I too would embark on a little re-invention of myself of my own…I also made the decision to pursue graduate school.  I had the undergraduate grades, I had the professional work experience, I had the work ethic…but what I lacked (and still do) was the ability to excel at standardized tests, a necessary evil and in my case, potential hurdle, to gaining admission into any reputable graduate school.  I was most concerned with the math section, which never has been my strong suit.
I remember the day the light bulb went off…when I decided to give it a shot and embark on the application process.  Rob was the first person I told.  It was months before he would leave Orlando for Harvard.  He didn’t skip a beat.  He immediately grinned, gave me a quick nod of approval, and began encouraging me.  I told him I was concerned with the GMAT (the standardized test on which a phenomenal score is all but imperative for admission to any MBA program). 
Right away, Rob said, “…I’ll help you…we’ll work on it…” and for the next several weeks Rob sat with me at his kitchen table in tutoring session after tutoring session.  He spent many a night, many an hour, and what must have been many frustrating moments teaching me test-taking tactics, quick math tricks, and other application process pearls of wisdom.  He could have been anywhere else…at Epcot, at a bar, at a pool, at the gym, or on the couch…but he chose to sit there with me…teaching me, helping me, and encouraging me.
The day I took the test, it was almost as if Rob was channeling my anxiety and nerves.  I remember walking out of the testing facility, and I no sooner got to my car and Rob was already calling me…”well…how’d we do?”.  I told him my score, which didn’t exactly crush it, but it was higher than I’d scored on any of the practice tests up to that point.  Rob’s first reaction, “That’s good…I think you’re in with that score!”  Encouraging, as usual.
I got into both schools I was pursuing, and I’m not sure I would have without Rob’s encouragement and inspiration.  I’ll go one step further…without Rob’s inspiration to re-invent regularly, I’m not sure I would have gone to graduate school, moved to Las Vegas, or even have conjured up the courage to write these blog posts. 
Thanks, Robert, for being a FRED since the day we met in 1999, and inspiring so many of us to re-invent ourselves regularly.  Life is much more fun, fulfilling, and rewarding that way…in fact, it truly does make the ordinary extraordinary

OneMoreStep down the aisle for Rob…
This all started with a mouse...

I was happy for Rob when he pursued, and ultimately graduated from Harvard Business School, but I’m even happier for him now.  This weekend I’m privileged and honored to stand in his wedding at Walt Disney World, as he re-invents his life yet again…
Congratulations, Rob and Lindsay…and thank you for inviting me to be a part of your special day.  Let the memories continue!
Have a great day.

 Related Post:

Don't Give Up

What is FRED Friday?

In my favorite book, The Fred Factor, Mark Sanborn tells an inspiring story of how a man named Fred goes OneMoreStep after OneMoreStep in his role as a Postman for the United States Postal Service.  I love this book.  Since my mom sent it to me in 2004, I've purchased the book for friends, coworkers, and girlfriends...I've even purchased and hand delivered copies of the book to several executives at both Wynn Las Vegas and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. 

Fred Friday is a series in which the OneMoreStepRevolution blog will showcase a real life "Fred" on select Fridays.   Reading The Fred Factor definitely leaves us with a desire to to be more Fred-like ourselves, but I also love looking for FredsFreds are everywhere. I love it when I experience a real life Fred.  I'm inspired just as I am every time I re-read the book.  I thought it would be fun to spread the magic of Fred to our OneMoreStepRevolution community. 

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