Roa TAPS MBA students

February 23, 2011

Donna Vincent Roa, managing partner and chief strategist of the Vincent Roa Group, spoke of life lessons that can be incorporated into professional careers at a February 14 McDonough Business School MBA Leaders Breakfast.

Roa’s down-to-earth style encouraged first- and second-year MBA students to incorporate TAPS into their professional lives. TAPS is Roa’s success acronym, which stands for talent, attitude, passion, and serendipity. Roa is a former government employee who turned to Hollywood screenwriting and now owns a communications firm specializing in sustainability-related projects.

“My career has been affected by those four things,” Roa said of TAPS. “It is important for us to find our talents, what we do best. Your talent assessment will start early, and you can catalog what people notice and tell you about your talents.”

Toward the end of the hour-long discussion, Roa rhetorically asked: “Do you want (material) things or experiences? You can’t take things with you, but experiences will always stay with you.”

As the breakfast was held on Valentine’s Day, Roa handed out cards containing her business card. In addition, three of the envelopes also held Starbucks gift cards and words of advice from three women business leaders. Lastly, one envelope contained a $100 bill. Roa said she hoped the recipient of the money would invest it in a direct reinvest program.

During the serendipity portion of her conversation, Roa added one other word of advice for the students.

“It pays to be nice."