How did you discover your passion for what you do, and what opportunities have helped shape your career?

I initially wanted to join the military immediately after graduating from high school. I am grateful that I was convinced to take the college route first especially since it led me to Delta Zeta, but after a few years of college it felt like something was missing. I decided to join the military anyway. I’ve always been passionate about helping and serving others. Joining the military was a way to give back after so many believed in me and helped me escape a tough past to become successful in my endeavors. A deployment to Kuwait in 2012 and a stateside mobilization in 2017 and a deployment to Poland during the pandemic in 2021 really were the pivotal shaping points of my military career. Enlisting in the military first prior to commissioning in 2019 allowed me to become a well-rounded leader with knowledge in everything from leadership, military budget, postal operations, suicide prevention training, educating others on resilience techniques as a Master Resilience Trainer and so much more. It has opened the door for a civilian role in which I also support the military as a Human Resource Specialist and continue to pursue a career in counseling on the civilian side. Most of all, it has afforded me the opportunity to pay it forward and empower others to be just as, if not more, successful in their endeavors.


Who has been an invaluable mentor for your professional career? What did you learn from them?

Over my thirteen years in the military, I have been fortunate to have many influential and invaluable mentors. Perhaps the most invaluable is Lt. Col. Jason Yee, the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the section I worked for several years. Although it is hard to narrow down exactly all he taught me, he certainly taught me the power of research, preparation and strategic thinking. He gave me many tools for my professional tool kit and gave me the freedom to learn from both successes and mistakes. To this day I reach out, and he’s there to share his wisdom (even though he is just mere months from retiring) if I have a big decision to make or am facing a situation in which I’d just feel comfortable with his opinion.


How do you make sure you stay connected with your professional network?

There is often a great deal of turnover in the Army and in the military in general, so social media is probably the most impactful way to stay connected with others. Of course, there’s always email, professional military education and various workshops. There is a saying that “it’s a small Army.”  You never quite know who you’ll run into and work with or for in the future!


How have friendships helped you professionally? Is there a friend (or Delta Zeta sister) that has been behind you every step of the way on your career journey?

The friendships I have developed over the years, especially thanks to the sisterhood of Delta Zeta, have been incredibly influential. They are the foundation of any success I have and the reason I continue to thrive. In fact, a friend I made in middle school has literally become family – Cait. After being taken into the family, she became my true sister who certainly keeps me on my toes. Olesia has been a friend who has witnessed some of the toughest times of my youth and is still who I call up at least weekly. Nicki, a random roommate turned friend, turned pledge sister and lifelong friend is behind me every step of the way since we met. Each deployment, she has always been there with the most perfectly themed, personalized care packages. Her support kept me going especially through this last deployment.

There are so many more sisters – Nicola and Rose, both fellow soldiers, Amy, Ashley, Mallorie, Rachael, Allie, Leslie and so many more I’m sure I’m forgetting. I cannot leave them out because they are my rocks. They are with whom we share each special, life-changing event. I believe we give each other the support and drive we need to keep going. Without my friends, I wouldn’t have the family I have now and would be very lonely on this career journey.