Company and title: Billings Clinic
Education and/or Background: Master’s degree in organizational development and leadership from Gonzaga University.
If you couldn’t do this, what would you do instead? Honestly, I am not sure. I genuinely love my job. I am so passionate about the work I am fortunate enough to do. If I had more hours in the day and my kids were at the age that allows for more free time, I would continue my education and pursue a Ph.D in workforce development and organizational leadership.
What other passions/callings are part of your life? I enjoy volunteering and spending time in the community for various causes. A cause very close to my heart is the Billings Clinic Classic. Each year the efforts of this event provide philanthropic support to an area of greatest need for the patients at Billings Clinic. Patients served by Billings Clinic are my neighbors, my friends and my community. I feel honored to have been involved for the past 10 years and I feel honored to volunteer each year. I love teaching. I am fortunate enough that MSU Billings allows me to continue to be a part of their adjunct faculty. I tell people that I already know my retirement job. I want to be a full-time college professor. When teaching, my bucket is full. It is invigorating to be in a space where learning is always occurring. I truly value the opportunity to create a space where my students can learn from their peers. Honestly, every semester I also learn so much from my students.
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What is the worst advice you’ve received and why? I was once instructed that, “It’s always been done this way. Just check off the boxes and get your job done.” I do not doubt that doing things with consistency can be key in doing things well. There are a lot of things in a job that requires consistency. I also believe that some parts of your job require the opportunity to have an inquisitive attitude that breeds creativity, growth, and meaningful change. When a box is simply checked, this limits that potential.
What advice would you give a teenager about success? Simon Sinek said, “Focus on where you are going and you’ll know what steps to take. Focus on the steps you’re taking and you won’t know where you’re going.” As a young person, I was so worried about the process and not the big picture. The path to success can look different for anyone. His advice reminds us all that the journey is different for everyone, otherwise we would all be given a road map to success.
What’s your guilty pleasure? I love a good glass of red wine, cheesecake and taking advice from classic Kate Spade quotes.
What is one professional accomplishment you still want to achieve? Widening access and creating opportunities for career exploration and awareness in healthcare. I truly believe if young people can see it, they can be it. In order to accomplish this, more opportunities need to be provided for young people. If it’s not being talked about at the dinner table then it is not a possibility because it is not even in a young person’s awareness. This is especially true in underserved areas of Montana where access to health care and exposure to health care career paths are extremely limited. If we want to grow our next generation of health care workers, we have to get them inspired and interested in medicine through immersive experiences. If I could be a part of creating these opportunities, that would a tremendous professional accomplishment.
How do you measure your own success? By always learning and taking what I have learned and making meaningful change. Giving back and learning are also incredibly important to my measure of success in my personal life. I want to grow from each interaction, ask good questions and pass along the information gained.
What failure have you learned the most from? I left a company I loved for wrong reasons and was swept up in the grass is greener concept. I learned so much about what I value in an employer, leader and culture. The lessons that I learned are endless and I wouldn’t even begin to have enough time to list them. Advice I would give young professionals is to take stock in their personal investment into their career, their career path and the employers that are investing back into them.
What is the hardest part of your job? The demand for student interest and opportunities for education are so vast and I am excited to help fulfill all the needs, however we have pinch-points that simply don’t provide enough exposure for all of the students. COVID has changed health care and access to education within the system. That will be a huge hurdle that we will continue to adapt around for a long time because everyone’s health and safety come first. I work every day to find ways to fulfill the demand.
What was the last show you binge-watched? I frequently binge watch “The Office,” “Schitts Creek” and “New Girl.” I love them all equally and for different reasons and I could binge every series at any given time.
What is your favorite book? “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood. If you are a fan of Atwood’s original Handmaids Tale, this book takes place 15 years after the events of the Handmaids Tale. A must read.
What is the most rewarding/important aspect of your occupation? My job allows my colleagues who love their careers the opportunity to promote, share and inspire others interested in health care. Watching them inspire and find joy in connecting with the next generation of health care providers is so rewarding. It is also incredible special to have students that participated in any of our programs choose health care and the Billings Clinic for their profession. Nothing could be more satisfying than helping our youth find their passion.
Who is your greatest mentor/inspiration? When it comes to mentors, I am pretty lucky. I have a handful of really great mentors. I go to them for different things and I think that’s important to have diversity in the mentorship. They fill your bucket in various ways and overall provide different advice for different situations. Sometimes you only need to call on one and sometimes you need to vet advice through all of them. As fortunate as I am to have incredible people in my life to give advice, mentorship and inspiration, the greatest of all is my husband. He gives me unedited guidance. He provides honest feedback even if it is hard to hear, he actively listens when I just need an ear, but most importantly he is my biggest cheerleader.
Do you have a motto that you live by? When you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else. It is all about balance.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a new business or excel in a business or field? Learn every day, take advantage of learning opportunities, always be a student of life and your profession. Be kind. Kindness matters in every relationship. Believe in yourself. You are your biggest advocate. Know you’re capable and others will follow. It is hard for others to believe in people that don’t believe in themselves.
How do you view failure and success? You must be vulnerable enough to accept that failure is an essential part of success. Brene Brown said it better than I ever could, “Failure can become our most powerful path to learning if we’re willing to choose courage over comfort.”
What do you do for fun/relax/hobby? I really enjoy family time with husband and kiddos. We are pretty competitive at board games around our house. As a family, we also enjoy golfing. I still haven’t worked my way up from the junior tees, but for me it’s about the time we get to spend together. I also really enjoy painting and any type of art. My high school art teacher can attest since I would beg for extra art classes. This is something that my daughter shares with me and I value that time we get to spend together creating. I also enjoy running and I get to do a lot of thinking. As a busy mom, who also works full-time, it’s not always easy to find alone time and I treasure a good uninterrupted run.
What’s the greatest gift you ever received? Why? My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader and to be honest, having supportive parents is a gift in and of itself. When I turned 30, my mom gave me a birthday card, an expected card just like she gave me every other year. When I opened the card, she wrote how proud she was of the person I have become. As a child, I always wanted to make my parents proud. The best gift she gives me is telling me exactly that. She always tells me this, but writing it down gave me a treasure to keep for my entire life. I think we need to put to paper how we feel about each other more often.