Membership Spotlight: Dawn Lazar
Excited for one of our 1st new #EACE member spotlights feat. Dawn Lazar of Cenlar FSB. #WeAreEACE
What was your career path to get your current role? My career path is funny because I looped around a bit, but recruiting has always been the reoccurring theme. As an undergrad at Florida State University (FSU), I had the unique opportunity to work in the admissions office as a telecounselor. It was probably the coolest job ever at the time. I called high school students and I spoke to them about the application process and why they should pick FSU as their school of choice. From there, I did a stint in the staffing industry doing technical recruiting. Agency wasn’t really my thing, so I moved back into higher education and spent 10 years of my career there focusing on admissions, academic advising, continuing education, and finally once I completed my master’s degree, I landed in career services. After 5 years of building the undergraduate wing from the ground up as an assistant director in career services at the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU) I felt it was time for a change. I spent so much time advising companies on campus recruiting best practices, I wanted to switch to the other side and just do it. I worked at BlackBerry running their US Internship Program for 18 months, moved on from there to start the university relations program for the Retail Marketing Division of Bluegreen Vacations and personal reasons brought me to the Northeast earlier this year and now I truly get to merge my experience advising, coaching, training, and developing young career seekers with my love for recruitment as the Program Manager – Talent Development for Cenlar FSB. My primary responsibilities include overseeing all program planning, development, and recruitment for our Summer Internship Program and Leadership Development Program.
What was your first job? First job out of college – Technical Recruiter for TEKsystems / First job ever – cashier at Publix (grocery store in the South)
Why did you choose this career? I love working with people, helping them discover their passion and coming up with a plan on how to get there. I am especially drawn to working with those early in their career, because I feel college students and recently college grads are at such a pivotal point in life where the possibilities are endless if they just take advantage of the resources allotted to them.
What is the skill that is most important in your current role? Listening intently and then taking action. It seems simple, but I feel it’s really important in any role, not just mine.
How did you develop this skill and how do you fine-tune it regularly? In every role, not just in our field, it’s important to listen in order to truly help someone get to where they want to be and truthfully in order for everyone to win. I learned early in my career that in order to successfully recruit, coach, advise, develop someone you need to listen to what their wants and needs are before acting, otherwise you will sell someone on something that they don’t really want and in the end everybody loses. Life moves so quickly sometimes things happen that remind you to go back to this basic principle in order to stay on track, so yes I would like to think I’m constantly evolving and trying to get better with it.
Did you have a mentor? Yes, I have several. I think seeking out mentors and accepting those that offer mentorship is a key ingredient in being successful.
What is your biggest career accomplishment? Building a department that didn’t exist prior to my arrival in a position. I’ve done this 3 times in my career (2 at the university and once in corporate). I think being able to leave a legacy behind is something I’m most proud of.
What is your advice to students looking for their first job? Take full advantage of the resources afforded to you at your college/university career center and NETWORK! Get involved in organizations both inside and outside of school that are aligned with your interests and career goals.
What is your advice to young professionals in the field who aspire to your current role? Network, ask a lot of questions, join professional organizations get involved as much as possible, set informational interviews with those that have the position that you aspire to have, and continue your education. All these things will make you more visible and more marketable in the long run. Be willing to take chances and open to relocating.
What was the best career advice you have ever received? You don’t get what you don’t ask for….this goes with everything in life and I really try to live by it.
What would you like colleagues to know about your organization? Cenlar FSB, is a national leading loan servicing provider, engaged in mortgage loan servicing and subservicing as a core business for more than 40 years. Located in the greater Trenton area, we are an employee owned company, that is currently growing exponentially. As a result of this, talent development has become a major organizational focus which opens doors for not only internal employees but for recent grads and other driven newcomers that wish to truly have a career path. Two college programs that are a part of these initiatives include the Summer Internship Program and Leadership Development Program which start each May/June. Feel free to reach out to me with questions.
Bio: Dawn Lazar has dedicated over 15 years of her career to career services, recruiting and talent development roles. She’s had the pleasure of working on both sides of the house, spending 10 years of her career in student/employer services at Florida International University and later taking a leap over to corporate managing the US Internship Program for BlackBerry, building the University Relations Program for the Retail Marketing Division of Bluegreen Vacations and now managing the University Talent Development Program for Cenlar FSB. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from The Florida State University, Master of Science in Adult Education from Florida International University, and holds the SHRM recognized, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Certification from HR Certification Institute (HRCI).
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