Season 4
35 Minutes

E121 | Grace E. Niwa | When Being Comfortable Becomes Too Uncomfortable

Grace E. Niwa is a former classical pianist who received a Master's Degree in Piano Performance from Juilliard, made her Carnegie Hall debut - and then decided to not pursue a professional career in music. Grace's subsequent professional life of multiple pivots includes being the Principal of her own PR firm and serving as Principal in a Global Executive Search firm.

These days, Grace is the VP of Global Talent Acquisition, Talent Intelligence and Early Career at the red-hot Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a global pharma powerhouse. Grace arrived at Vertex after serving as VP of Talent Acquisition and Executive at the equally celebrated Flagship Pioneering. Grace is a disruptor and visionary in the highly competitive world of Global Talent Acquisition, with a drive and discipline that are animated by her early training as a concert pianist.

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Grace E. Niwa  00:00

We were invited to attend a nine week summer program at the Aspen music festival. And this is the Aspen that people don’t know because now it was like a hotspot, right? It wasn’t really that like I was there, where I was exposed to like some of the best musicians in the world. And I then began to realize, Wow, that is what amazing looks like I knew what good looks like. But I didn’t realize what great look like and then I found something to aspire to. And that actually allowed me to dream and really reach for something bigger than myself.

Achim Nowak  00:33

Welcome to the MY FOURTH ACT PODCAST. I’m your host Achim Nowak. And I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold and unexpected lives. If you like what you hear, please subscribe on any major podcast platform, so you won’t miss a single one of my inspiring guests. And please consider posting an appreciative review. Let’s get started. It gives me great pleasure to welcome Grace Neva to the MY FOURTH ACT PODCAST. Grace’s professional journey in life has been deliciously non linear. Gray started as a piano prodigy who earned a master’s degree in piano performance at Juilliard. She had her own public relations, marketing and event management firm for over a decade, as subsequent career in executive search led to increasingly prominent roles at former powerhouses Biogen and flagship pioneering. These days. Grace is the VP of global talent acquisition, talent, intelligence, and a few other things at the Red Hot vertex pharmaceuticals. I think of grace as an innovator and disruptor in a very competitive industry. Hello, Grace. Hi,

Grace E. Niwa  01:58

how are you?

Achim Nowak  01:59

I’m well, I just want to ask this question, because I’m a public figure. And people sometimes introduce me and then go, gosh, is that really me? So what was it like to hear this introduction?

Grace E. Niwa  02:13

I love to thank you. It’s always nice. You know, sometimes you’re so busy working you forget? No, you’re right. It was a journey. And it also thank you so much for being invited me to be part of your podcasts, I really appreciate that. Very honored, with

Achim Nowak  02:29

every guest like to start off by finding out just when you were a young girl, a teenager, you know how parents usually have ambitions for us, or they want us to figure out what we’re gonna do. What were you thinking of?

Grace E. Niwa  02:43

Well, I’ll just give you a little bit of background that growing up in an immigrant family and Toronto. I was thinking about this last night, my dreams and aspirations were limited because my world was smaller, right. But I did start playing the piano at age four. And my mother was very focused on that, making me and my sister series musicians. That was her dream. In Toronto, the classical music community was good. But I don’t think until I got to the US, where we were invited to attend a nine week summer program at the Aspen music festival. And this is the aspect that people don’t know because now it was like a hotspot, right? It wasn’t really that like I was there where I was exposed to like some of the best musicians in the world. I then began to realize, Wow, that is what amazing looks like I knew what good looks like. But I didn’t realize what great look alike, then I found something to aspire to. And that actually allowed me to dream and really reach for something bigger than myself.

Achim Nowak  03:42

I love your delineation between good and amazing. I also have a lot of friends in dance, and other artistic disciplines. And I know that getting to amazing, takes a lot of work. Right? Could you just talk about the discipline that was required to aim for that level of ability and competence? Thank

Grace E. Niwa  04:06

you for asking that question. I think some people don’t realize how much work it takes, especially as a young child, right. So at age 12, I realized that I needed to make a decision whether this was something I wanted to do, or whether it was something I was doing for my parents, because it was so intertwined, and it was making me unhappy. And my mother, you know, she was that tiger mom, right? She sat next to me for hours at a time making sure I was practicing daily. And so that can be real. You know, you’re thinking to yourself, like do I you want to have this kind of relationship with your mother. That early realization at age 12 is very vivid in my mind that I made a decision that this is something I’m going to go for and that what is that going to take and that takes a lot of dedication of practicing sacrificing, maybe sometimes having friends sacrificing social parts of your life. I’ve heard that Jung, that was something that my family as well as myself decided we were going to do, we’re going to commit ourselves to this. Frankly, if we hadn’t done that, I don’t think I would have been able to get that far. Right, that early decision had to be something that I had to commit to then also invest in and understanding that not going to get some of the other things because I’ve decided to do this. So hours. So when you say hours, how many hours you practice, so I practically eight hours a day, sometimes 10, then I would start my homework, right? That dedication of really building that framework of, okay, when you’re young, you got to spend the time practicing, because you’re not gonna be able to do it later, that you actually need to work on the techniques, you got to work on certain kinds of composers. Early on in life, it’s harder to learn some of those things later on. So that was how I spent my you know, growing up is a lot of his music. There was one time I was at a hotel and I heard a violin. And I’m like, that’s probably my family, right thinking, Okay, you’re on vacation, but you still have to practice that discipline, there was no break. Again, that’s an adult type of thing to practice, be dedicated. So it’s like, I would say what athletes go through. For them to be able to be competitive, this is a daily thing for them.

Achim Nowak  06:20

Now you went to the various prestigious Juilliard School, you finish your studies there. And then at some point, you decided to not pursue a commercial slash professional career, which, in music, which can mean different things. So I’m curious as tech about how you made that decision.

Grace E. Niwa  06:41

I didn’t make it for a while I’ve graduated. And then I did my Carnegie Hall debut. And I think once I finished that, I thought to myself, you know, I’m very pragmatic as well. So let’s say 1% of the world gets a Juilliard School. And then a part of that 1%, very few of us actually have, like concert careers. And then even less tennis don’t have those types of careers either. So the option is to go either do my PhD, then ended up maybe in a very small college, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. That did not appeal to me. I don’t think you would My other option, what was my fourth option, I looked at I taught for a while. And again, I thought the writing’s on the wall, I thought, you know, what, if I’m not obsessed with my instrument that I want to actually be in a small town college teaching and being that professor, I probably need to figure out how to transfer whatever skills I have to something else. So that was my journey, and figuring out how to do that. It was painful, actually a real painful process. But in the middle of it, my sister also was a very, very talented violinist. And she was going through what we thought was a nervous breakdown, but actually turned out that she was diagnosed as schizophrenic. That was another reason why I thought, okay, now I really need to figure out how to make a living. It’s making music right now this window into how much I can make the math. And I really have to figure out what my next phase of life, how to reinvent myself and figure out what my next phase of life is

Achim Nowak  08:18

going to be. You know, what really strikes me and we’re going to jump around a little bit, because you’ve done a lot of things. But if we fast forward to your period, where you did your own public relations, marketing, event management, what really strikes me as we’re talking, I think of piano studying all that work as solitary or as solitary with one or two major teachers. And then you weren’t something that’s an incredibly public, constant engaged people, which in mind taps into a totally different part of grace. Could you describe what it was like to be in that part of your world?

Grace E. Niwa  09:01

Yes, again, discovering what can I do I have understand the classical music world, I have the connection, there are friends who also were doing that. And during that time of transition, I was introduced to a man named Charlie Hamlin, and who was actually an img artists agent, who left because his partner database, me founded an organization called Classical action. Classical action was a nonprofit that raise money for AIDS. And he brought in again, he was like that person who had, you know, all the famous artists that he managed, he brought that group of people together to raise money. And I thought, well, I can do that too. I thought, you know, I have the network. Why don’t I do something but from my community standpoint, so at that point, there was actually a famine of North Korea where they were having a hard time getting food, and we you would see these pictures of children who were actually 12 what they looked like There were five, right? Because there’s still no nourished. And no, I’m not North Korean, but I am Korean that spoke to me. So I started the idea of bringing together my friends that I knew that were artists and that were traveling. And then, with the help of Mercy Corps, another type of signal to maybe universe actually introduced me to somebody who was looking for a platform to raise money. So we both of us produced a concert that raised $200,000. And one of the companies I went to was that as a question, I said, you know, I would love to have $2,000 and some beer for the after party. And that guy gave me a contract after that fundraiser, and that lasted 13 years. That’s how I started my company. That’s

Achim Nowak  10:43

such a beautiful story. It matches many other stories, which is there was a door to moving into what an adjacency and you saw the door and you walked through it, then the universe did the rest for you. Right? Which is nice. Yeah. When you think of that period, I’m always curious because they’re, to an outsider, that can sound very glamorous, right? But if you think about what’s the highlight from those 13 years, where you go, wow, this is why I kept doing it. I loved it. But also, we all had those moments where you go, please get me out of here. I don’t want to do this anymore. Right? Can you take us give us a story for each of those? Yes,

Grace E. Niwa  11:24

going into an industry it didn’t really for me, nothing’s as scary as playing an instrument in front of 1000s of people. And you’re the only one on stage and you’re playing for like an hour and a half that you have to be really courageous to be able to think why would anybody buy tickets to come see me? That is the scariest thing that you can do. Everything else is relatively not that scary. And so I think that created a lot of courage in me because I was already at, I felt ground zero, no, who was going to find me a job when I had no skills. So I had to create my own job. I think that that was part of, okay, someone’s given me an opportunity. I think I know how to do this. I’m using my own logic, but also my learning that I had promoting concerts or, you know, there was a transference of skills and ultra knowledge and being able to bring people together for something and utilize that. And then the other thing I did was, I made sure I had people around me who are a done that, who are mentors. So I found I was very proactive in seeking out mentors, so that if I ever had a question, I knew someone I could call my instincts were there. But I also have to validate that with others, right, that had been doing it because I really was very inexperienced in many different ways, figuring it out every day, getting comfortable with discomfort. And then after 13 years of it, I thought doing the same thing over and over again. I think I know no. So I did my 10,000 hours, right? This is the whole thing, but practicing, did my 10,000 hours felt like I pay I know this, I’m now known for this. But now I’m bored. So what do I do? And again, my mentor came through that as part of for me, that’s always been my transferences people have been able to give me opportunities that probably didn’t have to. But all those people are also came from that nonprofit fundraiser, by the way. Yeah, I’ve been I’ve been reaping benefits from that. Because I did that for nothing. I had nobody paint me that truly came from my heart. Because still leads even for today, I would say I still reap benefits from that experience.

Achim Nowak  13:35

Oh, there’s so much wisdom in everything you just said. But the part where I want to drill down some more, because I think it’s the crucial part for all of us, when we get to the point where we say, I’ve done what I’m doing for too long. It’s safe, but something inside of me is dying. I need to get out of here. How do you experience that? Like, how does Grace experience like, gosh, I’m very good at this, but and they keep wanting me to do the same thing. But I’m done with it. Like what? Walk us through that experience where you have to do something

Grace E. Niwa  14:11

just being comfortable. It’s actually very uncomfortable for me. I don’t have that. I guess I’m looking for a little bit of excitement anxiety of like, maybe I don’t maybe I don’t know how that thing or I need to be a little scared. The challenge has to be bigger than myself for me to really dig in. And when that goes away, then I know that I need to start looking for something that scares me. That’s to me my barometer on making sure that I wouldn’t have taken this current job if I didn’t feel scared. I had to there has to be something that gave me a little bit of the butterflies and enough of a stretch for me to say okay, here’s something I can like dive into and learn and develop. When that goes away is when I have to either start challenging myself and finding other areas of what I’m doing, bringing other ideas and Do other types of people that can actually horse smarter than me that I can learn from. And so that’s the part of constantly the curiosity, making sure that you’re keeping that steady.

Achim Nowak  15:13

So you’re currently at vertex you’ve been there for a while you’ve given yourself three here. But let’s get rid of that moment that you just mentioned to you been at Biogen, you’ve been at flagship pioneering, those are two very different but highly respected entities in the pharma world. What was the thing that maybe had the good scariness about vertex, were going in? What was the perfect Oh, should I haven’t done this before I have to learn this, this is a stretch.

Grace E. Niwa  15:42

So at Biogen, I was a sole contributor. I wasn’t managing any team. But I was a specialist, and being able to find VP VPS. And above that Biogen, and also do succession planning, so I literally was talking to a ton of people for potential, and networking. So that then carried me over to flagship Netflix was supposed to be the same job, frankly, as the Verizon job. But they changed the job on me when I got there. Because the business was changing. I was I think, there was under 100 people there at the mothership, right, that were just investing and building, that’s a totally different number. Now, at that point, it was one of the very few that was part of building that infrastructure. I just said, Yes. I didn’t know anything about talent acquisition, I figured it out. I understood like, it’s not rocket science. But what I loved about being at flagship was that they’re all about connects thinking, they’re all about doing things that nobody’s ever done before. So I had the freedom to think, very different. And that was a huge area of learning. And you’re leapfrogging because you’re experimenting. And so that’s sort of been my learning is that oh, I don’t know that yet. I don’t know what’s gonna happen. But let’s just try it. Let’s do an experiment, do like doing a, you know, a pre Series A, where you only have three to five people doing that. And until then, it’s besides work to go to the next level, the same thing with ideation. And so part of it was taking that way of thinking about science, and then applying it to acquisition. That’s where I think I really learned so much more about what I could do to push the envelope. And I really, that is something that carry with me from that experience is so valuable, it speaks to, again, that area of wanting to stretch, wanting to push the envelope wanting to see where we can take it to make an impact, because at the end of the day, it’s about the patient, if we can get the right people to add to the company at the right time, that can really move the needle for the company. That is that, to me is like true happiness. Really, from a professional standpoint.

Achim Nowak  17:48

Let’s dive into vertex a little bit, which is a call that a red hot company format is the easing stuff going on. But I think I properly labeled you in my introduction as an innovator and disrupter, those are both positives, in your vision for talent management, talent, acquisition, what it can do. And most of our listeners won’t know anything about talent management in your world. But if you would do like an executive summary, what does being an innovator and disruptor in that very important professional playground? What does that look like for you? Right?

Grace E. Niwa  18:25

So for me, the magic sauce of talent acquisition, what I’m doing is around finding the right people. And how do you know that right? It’s all about attracting people, but also knowing where they live and where they want to where’s the supply and demand of this talent. A lot of what vertex does is requires a niche talent and niche skills. They’re not people that you just gonna find out the street, a lot of them already have jobs, then what is the, you know, the value proposition? What is the story? So I think an internal talent team can actually be a very powerful voice. For a company like vertex, where we know the culture, we know the company, we know the science, and we’re able to have very evolved conversation with talent. Because when if somebody calls you and they already know your world, and then you’re having a different conversation, versus someone who’s just talking to you about a wreck, or a job, job description, a job posting, that’s different. And it’s also different when someone’s available, right talent who’s available versus talent who is already engaged, because there wasn’t one of the top talents, what kind of conversation you can have with that person is very different conversation. So what I’m trying to do with my team is build intelligence function that helps you gather that information so that you can figure out what the message is going to be to attract that top talent to come to vertex that requires insight, understanding their world understanding why they would want to stay there, and then also maybe understanding why they might want to leave and have a conversation with you. So that requires a lot more investigation and a lot more insights about competitors. And so you’re not going in having a basic conversation, you’re going in already having a conversation where that person thinks they know you, because you’ve actually, you know, you’re their publications, you pay no, the recruiter is really coming to you in a different type of way that differentiates you from other recruiters that might be calling you. That’s really the training that I’m trying to provide the talent acquisition. And it can be game changing in certain areas, assumptions of the business, even though it’s been three years, it’s still developing, because you’re also educating the hiring managers and how we work and that it might be different for them. Because everyone we’re bringing in, if you look at the company, majority of them are new now. Right? Because we’re growing. And so that’s constant education, constant partnership, everyone’s coming from the business and understanding where the business is going. So that we are able to figure out how we help these hiring managers make the best decisions for the business.

Achim Nowak  21:06

What really strikes me as you’re listening, as I’m listening to you is that this is Talent Recruitment, beyond just getting 20 resumes that match the job description, because you can find resumes that match the job description. But yeah, I heard investigation or her talent, intelligence. It’s very delicious, what you all are doing, I want to go back to the word you used the beginning of the year, which is going from good to amazing. Your own standards, I have a feeling have remained to be amazing consistently. My feeling is that people who are amazing themselves will go, Gosh, I want to work with amazing grace. You’re part of the plan. But some people might go, gosh, I can’t keep up with her. She’s three steps ahead of me. You know, like when my Juilliard, you said is the top 1% If we transfer this to top 1% of your current industry, and some people go, Oh, I want to play there. So people might go, oh, no, I want to keep doing what I’m doing. How do you navigate the complexities of being an actor?

Grace E. Niwa  22:15

You have to meet people where they’re at. Right? I think I’m optimistic and trying to convert people. It’s like a win if one person is converted, and one person says, Oh, my gosh, I didn’t realize it could be this way. Yeah, it’s a different expense. That to me is gold. And it takes a while actually naturally impatient. But when it comes to this, the realization that people have, why do I care that it gets to this place, I think I’m all about mastering something, and mastering a skill, mastering an area doing my 10,000 hours. In some areas, I still am doing those 10,000 hours. And that gives you that deep insight, because you’ve spent the time there, you know, inside, you’ve spent that that those hours you’ve invested in those hours, if you don’t invest in those hours, you can’t feel that conviction, I feel part of it is if I want people to trust me, and also follow me, and what my beliefs are, how I approach talent, I feel like I need to do that work to be able to try to get people to start getting mature and experiencing pure in there. And then they buy in because it’s smart. Like they’d like, Oh, I get it now. You know, and they figure it out. And not everybody is going to be this way, there is time to be transactional, okay. There are times where we just hit the ground running. And there are other times where we have to sit back and be more strategic. And so we just need to figure out when to do what. So I’m not married to everybody has to be this way. But there is a place and there are certain roles where you do you should. And then there are other roles where I’m like, you know, you just go. So there’s a flexibility that’s needed. But there should be a place for everybody and how they work here. But understanding and respecting that this is the approach that frankly, in the future is going to be even more important because of technology. Because there’s going to be times when humans are going to play more of a part in this. Because there are things that the machine is going to be able to do now that you don’t have to do anymore. The lot of your time has shifted away from the administrative piece. And now it’s actually going to be shifted more into the people piece where you really need to know that talent. I think actually the way that I’m thinking is going to work because of the future piece, the training of talent acquisition now I think that role is changing to be more that data analysts and marketeer that the talent intelligence piece like you have to be that researcher, all those aspects of recruiting is now essential to be successful. Because technology over Yeah, what

Achim Nowak  24:51

really struck me in what you said and I because I leave this but not everybody articulates it as well as you just did. So I’m gonna paraphrase what I heard It is, the more we can use AI and all those wonderful tools, the more important the human part becomes right? Rather than obsolete. We need to do that better. You know, we need that better. As somebody who you’ve been very intentional, but what else or there have been lots of organic evolutions as you move into different steps of your career. As you think of the future, are there things lurking in the back of your mind, you go, gosh, I’ve always wanted to do this. Or if I had time to do that, that would be amazing. Are there any other secret dreams and aspirations?

Grace E. Niwa  25:37

Always, I think it depends on where you are in your life, right? I have now, son who’s going to go to college, I have one who’s going into high school, I feel that right now is not the time to create stability for the family. So I feel very lucky, I have a job where I feel very fulfilled. But then once my kids are, all of them are like out of college, or both in college, that I had more time to, to have that freedom to be able to pay, maybe you know, I’m going to go to the Culinary Institute of America and become a chef, like I’ve always wanted to, maybe I’ll try him off. Maybe I’ll do some of these things that I haven’t really been able to invest in, maybe I’ll start playing the piano again. There are so many things I’d love to do. But there’s a practical side of me to that. Regardless of all this, I still there’s something that grounds me. And I think that also comes from being a musician seeing zero in my bank account. There are times where I’m like a little bit like going back to that day, right? I didn’t want to be there ever again. And so that keeps me steady.

Achim Nowak  26:45

I want to ask you, I call this the professional ambition question. Because I coach a lot of people at your level of Korea, VP, Senior VP, usually accomplished. And in my experience, once we cross a certain age threshold, and the question is, how important is it to get another bigger opportunity, a bigger title? Versus let me do a good job where I am. Some people go let me find a smaller playground where I can maybe even make more mischief like how do you navigate those questions which are typical for somebody at your career, I’m

Grace E. Niwa  27:24

more role, the interesting role, the interesting people, the culture, that’s the kind of place where I’m going to thrive. But that’s more important to me, that is I’m going to work with, am I going to thrive there am I going to learn it’s not really the title or the company or what have you, you know, here I have all of that vertex, I have all that right now. So that is ultimately what you want. I also am realistic, like not everybody can have that at every job that they have. That’s the other piece. I’m very grateful right now. Because I feel like this is like the sweet spot. And it can change within and it should change. Because companies change. People change. People come and go and things like that. And so you have to just constantly, but a lot of it is for me, it’s driven by people, and the kind of people I want to be around and that also value and seeing me and understand where I can be leveraged. Because there are times when you’re in situations where people don’t see you. That can be very disheartening. For someone like me, that is really what I’m led by.

Achim Nowak  28:29

We could have a whole hour conversation about we just did that was a door and I’m thinking do I want to walk through that one or not? But let me take us down this path because I was thinking about this as you’re talking to. And if we can go back to maybe your to your Korean American immigrant background, I was born in Germany. I’m German born came here as a teenager. So the two things I’ve heard my entire life, either. Gosh, you seem so German, or you don’t seem German at all. Both are loaded statements, right. But obviously I what they make me think about is, to what degree Am I part of the German culture? To what degree Am I not? In your case? How does your Korean family immigrant background still influence you? And other things that you had to maybe consciously put aside? So they weren’t such a big part of your life?

Grace E. Niwa  29:30

It’s a loaded question. It’s because it’s so layered. Just to answer it simply, it has a lot to do with so when immigrants they take with them what they know of Korea or that country, and even though that country has changed, they to them, it’s so bad, the same. When my parents went back to Korea. Well, years ago, they said, Oh, it’s so different. I’m like, of course. The thing is the way that you remember it the way that you’ve raised the family If so when you’re in a kind of a 1.5 generation type of situation where you’re, you know, I was one when they immigrated to Toronto. And so I had one foot in the western world trying to simulate. And then when I was home, and then different worlds. And so sometimes I felt like two people. Part of that was trying to figure out who was I, how do I find myself worth because most immigrants don’t have confidence, because of the language. They’re trying to figure out how they fit into this new society that they in where they don’t have that comfort, it was a real journey to get to where I am today, it’s a lot of work, actually. And so part of it is, I’m so grateful for it. Because actually, now I’m a leader, where I’m more interested in my direct success than my own. Because I’ve done that work. I’m not yearning right now to figure out what my next role is, or what have you, I’m more interested in the experiences and the kinds of people I want to be around, but it took a long time to get to this place. And I think it has to do with really acceptance of yourself, your self worth, where you’re finding yourself worth what you care about what you aren’t also know about yourself, that’s not so great. And there are a lot of areas of my growing up experience, that is not always the healthiest way of thinking, because immigrants have their way of thinking about what looks good, it may not be very healthy. That was a journey as well to say, you know, what, that may be the way that they think is healthy, but to me actually has been damaging, you know, working around and sort of putting that where it is in its place. And still feeling like okay, but I’m so proud of me and still advocating for myself, because nobody else was. And so those are the kinds of lessons I think I’ve learned. And I’m ungrateful for all those lessons, because I don’t think I could be where I am right now, if I didn’t have that. It’s a different outlook. And it adds to the layer, like the fact that I grew up. And every morning, I had to understand what mood my mother was in. Frankly, that experience allowed me to be more intuitive about people in my environment. So that training was actually very valuable for me. I didn’t realize that until later. I’m like, why am I so like, tuned in to everything right now? It’s because I grew up like that.

Achim Nowak  32:21

I appreciate how you set all that. And but I also want to really extrapolate. It took some work to figure all that out. And so I thought final question. And it builds on what we just said, if it from your current vantage point, you could offer some wisdom and guidance to young grace, almost like you’re the fairy godmother not to change her journey in life, because I think everything else falls is the most stupid. What would you want her to know about life that she couldn’t have known back then?

Grace E. Niwa  32:56

Don’t worry so much. It always works out and have faith in the universe bring you what you need at the right time. Because then I wouldn’t have been so anxious. I always felt like I had somebody chasing after me, I think and once I realized that, it always worked out anyway. There maybe I don’t have to be so nervous about what’s going to happen in the future. Because it wasn’t something I could like anchor myself on, right, like when you have foundation could bounce back up from it. But when you don’t have that foundation, which was what I was like, when I was younger, I couldn’t bounce, I just had to start over again. And so now I have that, that foundation where I if something does happen, I am able to then get myself back up again, and built that. But that takes a lot of help from lots of different people. It’s not something that just happens to the love of friends and family and all sorts of people that help you along the way. So I’m also a person who’s 100%, about paying it forward. That’s huge for me. And I will spend the time to do that because others have done that for me. Beautiful.

Achim Nowak  34:02

I know you work for a big entity vertex. You don’t have your own business or company. But if you’d like people to learn more about vertex and what you all do, because it’s a company, where should people go to find out the impact that you personally have in that playground?

Grace E. Niwa  34:19

Well, they should go to our website, or our LinkedIn company page and get to know us better or reach out to me. I’m happy to speak to anybody about vertex. I think it’s a fantastic company. If you are passionate about what you do, you want to do it better and you want to go deep. This is a place for you to go. We will challenge you. It’s an intense place. It is something where you have to be an expert in what you do. I think that is not for everybody. But if you thrive and controlled chaos. Sad, very patient driven. This is a fantastic place to be you’re going to learn a ton. It’s not about swimming in your own swim lessons. It’s about actually being in the whole pool together as a company. It’s team oriented, and it’s very collaborative. So if that’s the way you like to work, you’re gonna love it here.

Achim Nowak  35:12

Thank you grace for the gift, the station. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the mindful of X podcast. If you like what you have heard, please like us and leave a review on your preferred podcast platforms. And if you would like to engage more deeply in fourth act conversations, check out the mastermind page at Achim It’s what fourth actors like you engage in riveting conversation with other fourth actors? See you there. And bye for now.


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