The Making of a Leader – EACE Director, Leadership Development
Director, Career Center at Roger Williams University
I have been in EACE since I started in college career services in 1999. Having come from human resources, I had a lot to learn about this profession. EACE provided me with many opportunities to learn, to network with my peers and become a “real” professional. I have been on numerous committees as a member and a co-chair. I ran for the board when I felt I was ready and my organization could support the time I would need to put into EACE. I believe it is my responsibility to ensure that our professional associations stay healthy and strong and continue to provide support to people in HR and career services. EACE is almost exclusively run by volunteers. We are only as strong and capable as our leadership. I want to give back so our association can stay strong.
How do you benefit from the leadership role with EACE?
Wow, I have benefitted so much more than I have given and I almost feel guilty about it! First and foremost, I have made friends from all around the region, both college members and HR members. I can easily pick up the phone to ask a question to people I would never have had access to prior to my work with EACE. I have grown as a professional as my tasks in EACE continue to stretch my abilities. I watch and learn from everyone with whom I interact. I also feel like I “belong” in EACE. My first few conferences, before my involvement, were difficult as I knew no one and felt like an “outsider”. Because of my involvement, I rarely feel that way at conferences and other face-to-face EACE meetings. I have found a home.
Why should you take on a leadership role with EACE?
The beautiful thing about EACE is that everyone has the ability to be a leader, if you want it. Working on a committee is a wonderful way to learn how projects and events actually are fun. Chairing a committee, subcommittee or conference provides you with the visibility and skills to manage projects and supervise people. This is especially important if your job doesn’t have those tasks currently and you aspire to a management role in your organization. Being on the board provides you with a “birds-eye” view of the mission and vision of the association as well as valuable executive level experiences. It is easy to get started. Raise your hand. Sign up for a committee. Ask someone to nominate you to a board position. Yes, it takes time, but it is paid back to you exponentially.