This week, I attended an event sponsored by Entrepreneur: Thought Leaders Live 2013. Michael Port, one of the speakers, encouraged everyone in attendance to create a realistic and unrealistic list of people you would like to meet as it relates to your career goals. My actual list is a bit longer but I decided to extract three individuals who are shaping my perspective right now and share with you.

First on my list is Aaron Patzer, founder of Mint.com. If we have ever had a conversation about some of my favorite apps, you’ll know that Mint is at the top of my list. In addition to being a financial lifesaver, Mint is one of the most visually stimulating apps I’ve had the privilege to use. When doing research on Aaron, I learned that we have a commonality!! Both Aaron and I attended Duke University for our undergraduate studies. Hopefully, I will get an opportunity to meet him at a future alumni event.

Next up –  Avinash Kaushik! In the past year, I have taken on certain responsibilities in my position at Patton Boggs, mainly including analytics and search engine optimization. In order to be successful at these new tasks, I took a new course offered by Google on Digital Analytics Fundamentals. The course material often mentioned Avinash and it turns out that Google considers him the expert. Just imagine learning analytics from him. I watched several of his videos and listening to him speak about becoming a data ninja and creating data-gasms rocked my world. I have to meet him because he has truly inspired me to delve into the world of analytics and make it my own.

Last, but not least, is someone who has been on my list since the beginning of time. She’s on everyone’s list and Michael even instructed us to have more than just her on the list. If you haven’t guess by now, it’s Oprah! Ms. Winfrey is not only a trailblazer but she’s the wind beneath my dreams’ wings and it would be a complete honor to sit down and talk with her about all of her success. Even now, as she is working on her new business venture, OWN, she is completely dedicated to making it a success.