Madeline Cornick offers the next generation of leaders some incredible advice on finances, discovering and fulfilling your definition of success & how to be a great leader!

Job Title:

Technical Project Manager, Cox Communications

What would you tell your younger self? 

I would tell my younger self to make a bucket list and to commit to crossing off one to two items a year. I have always wanted to learn to surf and here I am almost 30 with no surfboard or surf lesson! Do not let time pass you by without accomplishing the things you love or are interested in!

What was your major in college and how did you get to the position you are in today? 

I graduated with a Biology / Psychology major. Considering I am in operational strategy and support, it has provided no value from a course standpoint. However, having such a high class volume each semester while working to pay for school and being involved in a sorority, it forced me to plan ahead, prioritize what was important (which was not always school – friendships are important too) and organize my day to day. These skills have become invaluable in my personal and professional life as they allowed me to pursue my ultimate goal which was to get in Project Management. I started in Sales right out of school then moved to a Financial Analyst role where I was noticed by Sr. Leadership and promoted to Project Management in IT. I worked there for 3 years before moving to Cox as a Technical Project Manager. I learned something from each position which allowed me to grow into the role I am in now!

What was your inspiration and what helped you become successful? How do you define success? 

Being the only person in my friend group who had to pay for college, I was inspired by their ability to be “free” from financial burdens. They were able to pursue things they loved without working 6hr shifts to afford it. This feeling of time vs money caused me to define success as being “financially free” so you can pursue things important to you without worrying about life expenses. Value your time and establish a healthy relationship with your money so you can “successfully” do the things that make you happy.

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.

Very simple. Go to work on time. Do the best you can. Be receptive to feedback. Go home. Invest in family, friends and hobbies you enjoy. My personal life has always been my priority as it determines how productive I am at work. If you find yourself overwhelmed with work then take an early afternoon to detox and go to the office early the next morning to re-prioritize your to do list.

What is your favorite quote?

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan    The best things in life do not come easy and that is the truth!

What’s your favorite part of your job and why?

My favorite part of my job is working with my awesome team to solution business challenges. The majority of our solutions provide fast results (whether good or bad) and being a “carrot and stick” person, I love knowing the impact of my work quickly.

What is your favorite hobby?

I love playing the piano and being active outside with my dogs! I also love digging into my finances and planning for future goals like trips or buying a house. Sounds dorky but it is true!

What advice do you want to give the next generation of women leaders?

Be smart and be kind. Be true to who you are and do not let your gender or your surroundings impact how you respond to trivial or paramount situations.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means being a great listener, making the right decisions even if they are hard and prioritizing the right things.

What’s your advice on mentoring?

Mentoring is the best gift you can give someone. Be conscious of the person’s personality when mentoring as your words and actions are more impactful than you think. Also, always be open to being mentored. No matter how experienced you are, you can always learn something new.

What’s your favorite ice cream?

Hands down, Mint Chocolate Chip!

Is there any other information that you think Girl Talk members would benefit from?

Invest in yourself and start reading or asking about financial advice.

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