She Leads – With Elizabeth Nolan
Technical Support Manager (Overnight and Specialty Queues), CCI
What would you tell your younger self?
Study harder in high school to get good grades to get scholarships to pay for college. Student loans can be lessened considerably with advance planning!
What was your major in college and how did you get to the position you are in today?
My first major was pre-medicine, but I quickly realized I was too immature for college and left after one year. I returned a decade later, enrolling in business administration, and graduated with a Cum Laude title.
What was your inspiration and what helped you become successful? How do you define success?:
My inspiration was my aunt as she was the only person in our family to have gone to college. My self awareness in my professional maturity has helped me become successful. I want to do everything, but I always try to look inward to see if it’s the right time and the right role.
How do you balance your work and personal life? Often times one has more importance, and we’re curious to know how you’ve handled the balance.
I’ve balanced by understanding that it’s not going to be 50/50 each day or each week. When writing performance reviews, I may work 60 hours for a few weeks as I want to put my full effort into giving my team praise and feedback for improvement. Once complete, I usually take a day off or a half day to compensate. Plus, I am very open with my family. When we have urgent business needs and training, or when I have to travel for work, I let my family know in as advance as possible. We then schedule activities to take place before my hectic schedule, or immediately after to provide some relief. I also schedule personal and professional appointments on my calendar and give full access to those who report to me – I want them to do the same so I do not schedule meetings or appointments on children’s birthdays, holidays, etc (if I can avoid it). I am also a big fan of meditation and participate in virtual meditation sessions that can be as short as one minute in length or as long as fifteen.
What is your favorite quote?
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt
What’s your favorite part of your job and why?
I love being a people leader. I have nearly 20 years of leadership experience and being able to observe a new supervisor coaching employees in 1 on 1s, leading team meetings and huddles, and offering advice for success is an asset I have; however, I am in the role because there is no greater joy in the world than seeing a person grow and excel to the point that they are applying for promotions or entering new positions. I don’t want anyone to report to me for multiple years – I get professional and personal satisfaction from seeing my supervisors have the confidence and abilities to move into other positions.
What is your favorite hobby?
Ultimate favorite is knitting. It keeps my hands nimble, plus I have a hard time sitting down and relaxing; my constantly moving hands seem to trick my brain into thinking I am not sitting still. It could also be that it requires a bit of focus to not drop stitches, but the mistakes are what makes the finished product special.
What advice do you want to give the next generation of women leaders?
Don’t let what others say or think about you prevent you from doing something you want and know you can do. Women are brilliant mathematicians, scientists, scholars, and chess players. We are also excellent electricians, mechanics, farmers, and race car drivers. If you don’t see an opportunity for a woman in a field you love and want to move into it – make one!
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership means having the courage to say “I’m sorry, I was wrong” and have the professional fortitude to follow it up with “I need your help. What can we do to fix this together.” It’s easy to say “I’m right” and “I know it” but being a good leader means knowing when it’s necessary to say “I’m not right” and “I need your help.”
What’s your advice on mentoring?
Mentoring is a great way to improve your professional and interpersonal skills. Indirect mentoring is also very beneficial, but not often used. What I mean by this is, watch how your role models behave during meetings and presentations, observe how they dress when on news programs, listen to their tone and how they respond to questions. You can gain a lot of knowledge by watching others, and then trying to mimic portions of their professional behaviors.
What’s your favorite ice cream?
Mint Chocolate Chip!
Is there any other information that you think Girl Talk members would benefit from?
I enjoy many activities that don’t seem to be traditional “girl” activities like playing Dungeons&Dragons (D&D), playing video games, reading comic books, and going to Comic Cons and Sci-Fi conventions. Be yourself and love yourself – what makes you the person you are is what makes you a wonderful part of our mosaic!