The Class of 2019

Payton Shubrick

Innovation & Design Thinking Manager, MassMutual; Age 25
Education: College of the Holy Cross (BS), Bay Path University (MS)

Payton Shubrick

Payton Shubrick

How do you define success? Success is living a life of intentionality — one that allows you to smile unwillingly with excitement because of what you do, understand that hard times are a necessary evil to get to good times, and live a life that you and the ones you love are proud of.

What three words best describe you? Innovative, tenacious, visionary.

What are you passionate about? I am passionate about challenging the status quo. It is not easy, nor is it ever comfortable, but one fearless choice at a time, one brave decision at a time, one courageous action at a time, you can change the world. In the end, some of life’s best moments are on the other side of fear.

Whom do you look up to, and why? I have always looked up to my grandfather, Hercules Shubrick. As a young man, he grew up in the racially torn South, yet, as I grew up, he continued to show me a world full of possibilities. He taught me my first lessons of sharing, caring, and strategic thinking. To me, he was a giant man with a big heart, though stern when necessary. He has been my best mentor because, despite his passing many years ago, I still use the many lessons he taught me daily.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? Each day, I remind myself of the wise words of Maya Angelou: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” As I remind myself of this each and every day, it allows me to stay in control of the things that I have control of. I can’t always change people, places, or things, but I can change how I perceive them.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? Michelle Obama, without question. She was more than a first lady, but a model for grace and excellence for every African-American woman who has had to hold her head high when publicly disrespected. She so artfully reminded us that fear, anger, and vengeance are not proper motivators for life because, “when they go low, we go high.”

What will work colleagues say at your funeral? “She was gentle pressure, relentlessly applied.”


Photography by Leah Martin Photography