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

My family has been working for the government for as long as I can remember and, originally when I got into Federal consulting, I just knew I wanted to grow up in a different agency than where my parents, aunts, uncles and cousin all worked. However, I was inspired by them and the work they did. They were the backbone to our democracy and trying to make things better, easier for our people and I wanted to be a part of that. Working in the industry is “cool,” and as hard as it is to always appreciate what we have, they are also often left behind in their technologies and processes.

After supporting a few contracts, I knew I needed to support the military, specifically the Department of Navy Human Resources program after watching my brother and sister struggle when they started their families. Military HR processes are difficult, and I knew I needed to play a small role in finding solutions to make things, like getting their pay on time or acquiring childcare for their newborn babies, an easier experience. I knew I was able to combine two things I loved. Making people’s livelihood and job experiences better in a workforce that is not paid fairly for the work they put in combined with making a direct positive impact on my family. From there, the network of people I loved serving in the military grew beyond family, and I wanted to continue to play a positive role on their experiences and understand their roles which led me to various different military contracts and experiences myself. It has led me to live across the world and the hope that I may find myself abroad again someday especially as current events unfold and understanding the troops needs from around the world.


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

I’d like to admit that I have had a few incredible mentors throughout my career journey, but most recently would be my company mentor Shahla Ahmad. She has been there for me before I even picked my college and has always empowered me to reach for my goals and beyond. She has challenged me to remember how intelligent and capable I am, even when I felt kicked down at some points along my journey. Even when I chose to work for different companies and firms than hers post-grad, she always celebrated my accomplishments and gave me career advice along the way. When I finally wanted to join Booz Allen Hamilton, where she is also employed, she made me work for it to get my foot through the door on my own, but was a champion for me when I asked for it. She checks in regularly and has been imperative in helping me grow and learn throughout my journey. I’ve always admired her hard work and adversity through everything she has experienced, gained and lost throughout her journey.


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

I have built friendships in my professional network, and I am lucky to be able to keep in touch informally in those circumstances. Whether it is the occasional lunch or dinner, as well as texts and phone calls. In my more professional relationships depending on our relationship, I will send an email note every few weeks to months to check in and/or set up phone calls to discuss professional growth opportunities and seek advice.


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?

Friendships have truly been the backbone of my professional experience. I am grateful to the friends I have made throughout my career because they have pushed me to think outside of the box and take risks. They’re also the ones I celebrate my successes with and I theirs. It is an incredible feeling to have people in my corner and to be able to challenge each other to be the best we can be in our careers. My best friend Alex from college has been my biggest cheerleader and support system throughout my career, as well as my Delta Zeta Big Sister Megan.