We’re kicking off our newest blog series on powerhouse women leaders in the workforce with Rebecca Cenni-Leventhal (Founder & CEO, Atrium Staffing)! Leading up to her appearance at BizWomen’s Mentor Monday, our high school Ambassadors sent in their top questions for this wonder woman.
What was your major in college and how did you get to the position you are in today? – Kelsey S.
While I always knew I wanted a career that corresponded to my passion for people, I was unsure what field I wanted to study. In fact, I changed my major four times! I ultimately harnessed my people-focused philosophy through the study of Human Resources and Child/Family Education. After graduation, I was naively determined to land a job that required several years of experience. I visited agency after agency seeking employment until I finally insisted on speaking with a manager. Though the manager agreed I was not qualified for the HR role to which I was applying, she appreciated my persistence and offered me a job working for her team as a recruitment trainee. I was the company’s first hire without any experience! I quickly fell in love with the role. Believing in myself and remaining flexible gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and the experience I gained inspired me to build my own business.
What was your inspiration and what helped you become successful? How do you define success? – Sydney B.
If I’m being fully transparent, I think my greatest inspiration at the time was my paycheck. Establishing independence after college can feel overwhelming, and I had bills to pay! However, the relationships I built and developed over time are certainly what mean the most to me. They are how I have developed both personally and professionally. I can only define my success by the people who surround me, and the people I’m surrounded by continue to inspire me daily.
How do you balance your work and personal life? Often times one has more importance, and I’m curious to know how you’ve handled the balance. – Rebecca H.
Work life balance is a myth, so I focus on priorities and reevaluate daily. If there’s one thing I’ve learned I can depend on, it’s that everything changes. My best balancing tool is flexibility. I’ve learned to adapt with the needs of a dynamic and demanding business as well as a dynamic and demanding teenager. I do my best to lead with purpose and polish at home and at work. It’s all about grit!
What’s your favorite part of your job and why? – Kelsey S.
People! I still feel so much joy when my team shares stories about placing candidates into their dream jobs or helping clients find the perfect match.
What advice do you want to give the next generation of women leaders?
Begin your journey knowing that the path may change. Learn how to adapt while staying true to your goal and never give up! There will be easy days, and there will be hard days- you need both to truly appreciate your achievements.
What does leadership mean to you?
“Do as I do not as I say.” Lead by example inspiring others with an energy they want to be a part of.
What’s your advice on mentoring?
Find a mentor you trust and ask for help when you need it. My journey as a business owner has been guided by amazing women and men who believed in me, and their advice has been invaluable. As a leader, I pay that forward through mentorships of my own and encourage my team to do the same.
What’s your favorite ice cream? – Rebecca H.
More about Rebecca: Founder of Atrium at 24 years old Rebecca Cenni-Leventhal continues to strengthen the human value in work culture. Since initially disrupting the staffing industry in 1995, the brand has evolved into a complete talent solutions business sustaining its entrepreneurial edge through innovative workforce design, strategic program management, process development and HR technology. True to her founding principles, Rebecca remains committed to a people focused philosophy. She understands the importance of collaborative partnerships and has made listening, valuing and respecting the core values of her organization. Being a woman-owned business opens doors for Atrium, but consistently delivering excellence is what sets the company apart.