Q: First day of the new job must-haves: what’s in your bag?

A: Your first day on the job is a very exciting day! For me, what’s in your bag is way less important than coming to your new office with a great attitude while being ready to learn. You should also dress the part and make note of the dress code in the office—when you look good, you feel good.

But since we are on the topic, I would recommend bringing a professional notebook and a pen to take lots of notes. Also, if your new company has asked you to bring in any identification forms to complete paperwork, be sure you have those. You can never be too prepared your first day, so pack your bag the night before, go to sleep early, and make it a priority to start your new role on the right foot.

Q: What’s your go-to power meal or snack?

A: I grew up in Texas, so I’ll be honest… if I need a quick recharge, I’ll treat myself with a Dr. Pepper. Although it’s a bit unconventional these days, I’m a huge believer in giving yourself the pick-me-up you need, even if it’s a soda or piece of candy. Eat these in moderation, of course, but remember it’s okay to treat yourself. Most people in the office tell me that I eat like a kid—you’ll also find Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops in my weekly rotation.

Q: Fill in the blank: I wish people could be more __ in the workplace.

A: Transparent. People tend to overcompensate by giving long explanations or over explaining and end up making things more complicated. I believe it’s beneficial to be as direct and forthright as you can with everything from setting clear objectives to owning up to a mistake that has occurred. This will establish that you, as a leader, are not afraid to be open and truthful, and will also set a clear precedent that employees can come directly to you if they have any questions or worries.

Q: What do you first notice when you meet a candidate?

A: It’s easy to notice their appearance and the nonverbal cues that make a good first impression. But, attitude is everything and how someone carries oneself and treats others is critical. You can’t help but feel instantly connected when someone is positive and genuinely enthusiastic to interview and have a conversation.  The innate feeling you get from someone’s energy starts dictating your other emotions and can also influence your conversation.

Q: What’s your favorite inspirational book or movie, and why?

A: My favorite book is called “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. It’s a story about hope, family, and pursuing your dreams all told from the perspective of Enzo, a very wise dog. A line that’s repeated in the book is, “That which you manifest is before you.”  The power behind this idea is that whatever you set your mind to, whatever you work towards (so long as you never give up), you will achieve, but you have to believe in yourself and have the guts to go out there and get it.