Tell us about your background: What do you do now, where did you get your start?
I got my start in DC working for classical liberal leaning non-profits in the DC area. Very early in my career I built a niche for my self in helping organizations reach students on campus due to my experience with various campus groups in college. I ended up at the Charles Koch Institute in 2012 and I stayed there until early 2018. It was an incredible place to that allowed me to work on projects and programs that were the right fit for my skill set while simultaneously supporting my growth and professional development. I was luck to have multiple supervisors during my time there that trust me enough to build new things- student outreach kits, internship programs, grantee partnerships focused on free speech. Not many people my age get to do things on the scale I did with the autonomy that I had, and that’s what gave me the confidence to leave the supportive environment that was CKI and start my own organization in April 2018 called Ennovation. The few months after I left CKI, but before I founded Ennovation, I relied heavily on my network of former colleagues, peers, and friends to help me slowly figure out what was next for me. From late nights talking pros and cons over drinks, to offering up my free time to a few people’s organizations/projects; I couldn’t have gotten to this point without that. Specifically, the work I was able to do during that time (and continue to do) with Pomona Society was life changing. It really allowed me to offer what I felt my strengths were to a project that was brand new, but in an entirely different context than I was used to. It was amazing!
How do you believe you use your strengths in the context of your work?
I learned early on how damaging it can be to stretch yourself outside of your strengths when done consistently. It leads to burnout, I’ve been there. I think that lead to my development and focus on project management early in my career. I knew what I was good at and what I wasn’t which lead me to work with any and every team member that made sense and learn about the role they could play in making projects successful. I also am an extrovert and tend to naturally create a productive team environment.
Why did you join/start your current company?
When I was thinking about all the work I’ve done int he past 7 years, I finally realized the common thread was bringing ideas to life. Creating something out of nothing or just a nugget of an idea. It’s been described in the past as “shiny object syndrome” where former colleagues saw it as me being bored once things weren’t new anymore. On the contrary, I think this exactly why I’m great at getting things off the ground- I figure out what needs to happen to build a sustainable product that can scale, implement all that needs done, and then allow it to live with the team who can optimize it from there. That’s why I started my consulting business.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Build a reputation early in your career as someone who gets things done and you’ll always have a job.
What is one word that describes your leadership style?
Nominate a woman in tech