The most valuable thing I learned at Columbia was to ask questions if I did not have a complete understanding of any issue. That has been an immense benefit over my entire career. On the presumption you know what you want to accomplish - I did not that but knew I wanted to reach high - seek out a mentor. Someone who has done what you wish to accomplish well and has a strong desire to share that information. The key in doing that is picking the right mentor - and you need to do some due diligence to be sure you just didn’t find a turkey. There many who have been successful by mere chance and are indeed turkeys. At your level of experience you could be fooled. Use your Columbia experience to question/understand and evaluate the individual who is giving the information. Just don’t be too aggressive about it.
And while your doing that do not be tempted by high salary numbers. If you build your career right - creating the corporation of “you” - you will build value. And, that is a good way to think about yourself.
Lastly, integrity is a must. Once you ruin your good name, you have nothing. With that and years of accomplishment you can some day look back and revel in the fact that you did a good job and as good as could be done. Many can’t make that statement.
Paul A Liberti ‘58CC