Where They Are Now – Tulin (Aldas) Gioia
Tulin (Aldas) Gioia
HR Generalist – National Futures Association
What was your career path to get your current role? Prior to making the transition to HR at National Futures Association (NFA), I was an Assistant Director of Career Development at Wagner College. I held that position for five and a half years. In addition, I was a Career Counselor at Wagner College for one year prior to moving up to Assistant Director.
What was your first job? Well, that depends…my first real job was as a temp in the medical records department at a local medical group on Staten Island. My first job out of college was as a Graduate Assistant in the Experiential Learning Department at Wagner College, while earning my MSED. My first salaried position after all schooling, was Career Counselor at Wagner College.
Why did you choose this career? Initially, I chose the career development field because I was trained in education, but made the decision not to become a classroom teacher. I felt career development was a good field to use the skills I developed through my schooling (BA in English, MSED) to continue to teach and educate students and help them prepare for their future. As my career progressed, I wanted a new challenge. With that, I looked to make the transition into HR and recruiting. I will admit that it did take me a while to break into the field, but I knew that my skill set would be marketable to the right company, I just had to find it. After some months of searching, I found my current position at National Futures Association (NFA). Here as an HR Generalist I am exposed to all facets of the field of Human Resources, with a strong emphasis on recruiting (both campus and experienced hires). I find this role to be challenging and incredibly rewarding. I have learned so much and continue to learn and grow each day.
What is the skill that is most important in your current role? I think multi-tasking is a very important skill in my current role. As an HR Generalist, I can wear multiple hats on a given day. It is necessary for me to smoothly transition from one part of my role to the other and back multiple times in a day some days. With that, prioritizing and time management are also an important component of my multi-tasking.
How did you develop this skill and how do you fine-tune it regularly? I think I developed the ability to multi-task, as well as prioritize and effectively manage my time, early on in my life. However, I think I really developed the skill in college. In college I was a double major and very actively involved in my college community. As a result, I had to manage competing deadlines and priorities on a regular basis. Over the course of my life and career I have tweaked and continue to work on this skill. However, I still attribute a large chunk of my success to Post-it notes. I live by them! As technology progresses though, I continue to integrate it into my daily routines to help me with my multi-tasking. You can never work too hard on making things better.
What is your biggest career accomplishment? Wow, that is really hard to say. I think some of them are definitely still yet to come. However, at this stage, I think my biggest accomplishment has been to change careers and successfully transition into a role in HR. It was scary at first. I needed to learn a whole new industry, role, and company all at once. I know many people do this multiple times in their lives, but for me it was the first time and I was nervous. However, now that I have been in this role for a year, I can look back with pride at how far I have come and how much I have learned in that short time. I know I have much more to learn, much further to go, and much more to accomplish, but so far, I am very happy with where I am and where I am going.
How many years were you a member of EACE? 7
Did you serve on the Board of Directors or as a Committee Chair? I served as Co-Chair of the DAC for a year. I also served as Co-Chair of the Awards Committee for two years in a row. I was also nominated for a Board position, but was not elected.
How did EACE help you in your personal career development? EACE helped me tremendously! I made a number of incredibly valuable connections with colleagues across the organization. Their continued support and friendship helped me grow as a professional in the career development field and then encouraged me to go into the HR field. Also, the leadership roles and involvement I had in EACE helped me continue to develop my ability to multi-task.
Did you have an EACE Mentor or another member of EACE serve as your unofficial mentor? I did not have a mentor officially, but several EACE members helped me along the way. Specifically: My colleague at Wagner College, Victoria Crispo, who introduced me to the organization. The first person to champion my involvement and leadership in the organization, Nancy Williams. When I decided to change careers I turned to Adrienne “Ade” Alberts for advice. She was more help to me than I have been able to express to her. Also, Ayanna Wilcher helped me explore my desire to transition careers as well and was very helpful to me. I could go on because I had so many wonderful people play a role in my development at EACE.
What is your advice to current EACE members who aspire to your current or a similar role to yours? My advice is specifically to those making a career transition. It is to not stop trying. It can get discouraging and frustrating and may seem too tough to do, but it can and will happen. Believe in yourself and your skills. Realize that you have everything you need to succeed within you. That said though, it is also important to not rest solely on that. You need to continue to grow and develop your skills. Learn as much as you can to help you develop and/or hone the skills that will be integral to your success in the new role. Also, having the right people in your corner who are giving you good advice, support, and knowledge will make the road that much easier to walk.