Cassidy Cruz — Office Manager
My mother used to help me learn my tap dance routines in the basement of our home. Once, When I was about 5 years old, I felt like the steps were so difficult they were practically impossible. I burst into tears of frustration and blurted “I can’t do it, Mom!”
My mother, always extremely levelheaded, calmly shot back, “Cassidy, there is no such thing as can’t.” Trusting my mother’s every word (and in line with my natural stubbornness), I practiced for hours that day until the entire routine was perfect. A competitive athlete was born.
I went on to win the Dance Masters of America Competition 8 year old division when I was technically still only 7. I became a 3 sport athlete in 7th grade, earned varsity letters by 8th grade and was a New York State Player of the Year in volleyball by the time I was a senior.
I was all set to go to the local community college after playing in the Empire State Games (an annual New York State “Olympics” for high school students). I never expected the Queens College volleyball coach to offer me a full scholarship on the spot when she saw me play in the tournament. 18 days later, even though I had never been on an airplane or ventured very far from Canastota in upstate New York (pop. 4,723), I landed in New York City. I felt no fear and loved every minute.
I am not particularly tall and I never had the typical body type of the sports that I excelled in. That didn’t stop me. I just had to figure out other ways to make it work.
When I played in my first Division II college volleyball tournament, a towering middle hitter across the net had a little chuckle when she saw that I would be her opponent. When I quickly scored my first point, I gave her a smile, wink and a nod while repeating my mom’s advice in my head: “there’s no such thing as can’t.”
It wasn’t until I finished playing volleyball professionally and began my career in finance that I realized my mother had actually been teaching me a life lesson all along. I’m still very competitive, but instead of crushing my opponents across the net, I now find myself striving to be the MVP of my team here at the office.
Whether it’s acting as a utility player filling in the gaps when a co-worker is struggling or stepping up to the line when it’s my turn to serve up the winning point, I am ready to make the most of it. As Office Manager of our New York office, I face many challenges that require determination, perseverance, and stubborn resolve. Thankfully, there’s no such thing as “can’t.”