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From Warrior to Amazon: Becky Strickland '98 Delivers Career Day Keynote

"Close your eyes," Becky Strickland, '98 instructed the audience. "Picture your life 5-10 years from now. Take a mental Keynote Speakersnapshot of what that looks like, and store it away in your memory—because that's the last time you're ever going to see it."

Form V and VI students were joined by nearly 60 Pingry alumni representing various career fields to provide a wealth of knowledge during the two hours of classroom breakout sessions that followed the keynote.

Following an introduction from Headmaster Nat Conard and Pingry Alumni Association President Woody Weldon '91, Ms. Strickland took the stage to deliver the keynote address. She was joined in Hauser Auditorium by students and nearly 60 Pingry alumni representing various career fields, who would shortly be sharing their wealth of knowledge with Form V and VI students during the two hours of classroom breakout sessions that would follow. Ms. Strickland graduated from the Naval Academy with a degree in English, graduated top of her class in flight training, and was one of the first two women selected to fly the F-18 Super Hornet. She currently works as Senior Manager for the Worldwide Ops Integration Team for Amazon Logistics.

Ms. Strickland has clearly worked hard to build a successful career; but that wasn't to be the focus of her address. "Today, we're going to focus a lot on my failures," she explained. "I'm going to be completely transparent about times things did not go right for me—but I had to collect myself and keep going." Ms. Strickland related stories of setbacks she faced as a student, ["You can't be a doctor without knowing chemistry,"] unexpected pivots she made in her career path, and missteps she made in leading her team at Amazon.

"Failing is a good thing—it can help you transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset," Ms. Strickland said by way of summary. "The path to success never looks like what we think it will. We think it's going to be linear, but it's probably not going to work out that way. Remember: that's okay. At the end of the day, even if you pivot strategies—or completely sidestep your plan altogether—you're still going to be successful because you're making those choices."

Contact: Ed Lisovicz, Advancement Writer,