Day two of Palo Alto High School’s 2018 Career Month speaker series featured speeches from Eric Jensen and Sophie Tsang. Jensen is the chief executive officer of Palo Alto Foods and concurrent police officer, and Tsang is a real estate agent.
Jensen, a Paly graduate, explained his duties as CEO of Palo Alto Foods, a family-run business, and concurrent police officer.
After graduating from high school, Jensen said he was unsure which career path to take. However, he never expected to become part of the law enforcement as a student. Jensen expressed that he was glad to have been open to the other opportunities available to him, and advises students to try new activities during their time in high school.
“Things change, and I was really fortunate to keep my mind open to other possibilities,” Jensen said. “Now, I get to have fun in two different worlds: law enforcement and business.”
According to Jensen, he uses two main skills during his two jobs — active listening and investigating. Active listening means listening to others in an engaged manner without expressing unwanted opinions, and investigating means to be curious, notice interesting details, then following up on it.
The other speaker, Sophie Tsang, is a realtor with Alain Pinel Realtors and former civil engineer. Tsang discussed her unorthodox career path, and the importance of sales skills.
Tsang had originally planned to become a civil engineer, but decided that it wasn’t for her. She then got a master’s degree in computer science but later left her job to become a realtor, which is the position she holds today.
“[Becoming a realtor] was an accident, really,” Tsang said. “But then I found out I loved it.”
Tsang detailed the process and mechanics of real estate sales and the importance of sales skills in everyday life. She emphasized that sales skills are not just for sales people, but are essential for personal success and success in the workforce.
“Everyone is in sales,” Tsang said. “From the employees to the CEO, everyone needs sales skills to succeed.”
Tsang recommends that students do not wait for opportunities to come to them, but take action and reach out to others.
“Don’t wait for passion to find you, go out and search,” she said. “It won’t matter what field you’re in as long as you doing your best in a field you love.”
The Career Month speaker series continues until Friday. Until then, speakers will be in rooms 403 and 404 during lunch.