Franklin: I stand by the fact that storytelling is the most powerful thing that we have. It’s so important to tell our stories, and I want people to really celebrate what creativity and an intelligent use of talents can look like. I think that for all of us, we want to believe that we’re on some prescribed path, right? Or that we’re supposed to know what we’re supposed to be doing in the future. But, that takes a lot of time and introspection. I define it as being “focused but flexible.” You’ve gotta be focused on what you’re here to do, but be flexible in what that looks like. Amanda was an excellent example of being incredibly focused on what your purpose is and flexible on how your purpose manifests itself.
Booth: How do you think talking with people beyond our usual fields of business—like entertainers and comedians—can help future business leaders think more broadly?
Franklin: I think it is imperative to learn from others who are not in the spaces that we’re in. When I look at someone like Amanda, she may be in the art space, but her world is still business. She’s still trying to figure out how to bring all these disparate pieces together and make them whole and learn from other leaders about how to run her business.
One of the key things she said is that hiring is the most difficult thing that she does. It was interesting that even for her, a comedian, that’s one of the hardest things she’s had to learn about trying to take her artistry and turn it into a business. We’re all interconnected. There is a bigger world that revolves around learning from people that think differently than us, but we’re all rooted in business at the end of the day.
Booth: It sounds like the MLT conference as a whole was a success. What do you hope the MLT Fellows learned about what it’s like to be a Booth student?
Franklin: A constant goal of mine is to dispel the myths about what a Booth student looks like. I really hope the attendees saw that we do have people, like myself, who have a breadth of knowledge across different topics, and are open to sharing and learning together. We’re not cookie cutter here. So, I wanted them to see that we can flex and have a lot to share, even though I know we are described as “quants.” We need them, and there are people in our community who don’t fit into any pre-described mold.