What was your dream job as a child? My dream job as a child was to be a Forensic Scientist. While it was an early-on major, what I discovered was biology/chemistry were not my gifts.
Tell us a little about your career in tech leading up to your position at NWN Carousel. Explain what you do now. I started my IT Career at the California Independent System Operator (ISO). The ISO ran the utility grid for Northern CA. I held many roles over my 5 year tenure; I had a wonderful mentor, whom I remain in contact with today. This mentor challenged me every day to be the best version of myself. I was young in my career, and he challenged me with minor goals such as correcting spelling and grammar in emails to public speaking and becoming an owner for company objectives! At this point in my career, I was a sponge for knowledge. I asked a ton of questions and for anyone who knows me currently, not much has changed!! After Cal ISO, I pivoted to my new adventure at Delta Dental of California. At Delta Dental, I began as an Infrastructure Project Manager and shortly after pivoted into software development, where I managed deployments of core applications to process dental claims. I decided my next pursuit was people management; while I worked in a very matrixed environment, I realized managing people was my passion. I stayed at Delta Dental for 9 years where I managed various IT Teams.
I’ve been at NWN Carousel now for 6 years and today I serve as the Vice President of Customer Experience as well as head of Dedicated Staffing.
What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
The best professional advice I have received over my careers is to “be comfortable working outside of your comfort zone” and “always consider oneself as a lifelong learner!” I encourage you to find a mentor, ask lots of questions, focus on outcomes and talk in terms of results. Take what your mentor offers as feedback and practice it until you perfect it! Then seek more feedback until incrementally, your skills are sharpened.
What if you don’t have a tech-savvy support system? How do you get the mentors or the help you need? To the next generation of women, I would encourage you to be proactive in seizing career opportunities which push your comfort level – desire to grow incrementally, be accountable (even if you make a mistake), operate with integrity and always honor your instincts.
How has hybrid work changed your life? I am often asked, how I accomplish work/life balance, as I am a professional, a mother and a wife. It is achievable and can be met with joy! Where I find success is focusing on my time management, setting realistic expectations, appreciating priorities and being agile as those priorities adjust. Balance requires flexibility. My last piece of advice here is to carve out a small piece of your day to focus on something that brings you joy – for me, it’s working out!
What should we be telling younger generations of women? The final piece of advice I would offer is be open to feedback and practice it.
What motivates you every day? The few things that motivate me is mentoring and coaching others; watching them grow in something that pushes their comfort.