What roles have you had throughout your time at Berkeley?
I started my career at Cal as a Program Coordinator in EWMBA and EMBA admissions at Haas. I was promoted to Admissions Manager and then Assistant Director of Admissions. After grad school, I returned to Haas as Director of Student Affairs, and then moved over to the College of Engineering as Associate Director of Academic Affairs at the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership to help run the new MEng program. After huge growth of the program, I was promoted to Director of Academic Affairs. However, I like to think my time working for Berkeley started with my volunteer experiences through the Cal Alumni Association as a Young Alumni Council Board Member, Scholarship Chair, and Admissions Ambassador.
What factors do you think helped you switch positions successfully within Berkeley?
I had amazing mentors and managers supporting and challenging me from day one. I have always felt appreciated and recognized for my contributions which is extremely motivating. My first boss pushed me out of my comfort zone to go back to grad school, which opened doors to the leadership positions that followed.
How do you encourage your staff to take advantage of learning and development opportunities such as partaking in staff organizations, or free trainings, and if so how?
Professional development is essential to all our roles and helps us embrace change. I emphasize this by regularly discussing opportunities that would be of value to each individual staff based on their roles and interests, and encouraging staff to attend at least one conference per year and possibly even submit material to be a presenter. Sometimes I put on the pressure by calendaring really good opportunities, like workshops from the Multicultural Education Program, Berkeley International Office or campus leadership speakers. The most important piece is to walk the talk and say YES to requests for these opportunities, making them a priority even during busy times.
How would you recommend people seek new projects if they don’t naturally have the opportunity to work on a variety of matters?
Figure out what inspires you. Find a connection between an interesting project and your current skill set and interests, then pitch your participation to the stakeholders. Or, you can just create your own project. A great opportunity to take on new projects could be through a class, committee, or leadership development program. One of our team members does an excellent job “marketing” their professional values and interests, and then seeking out ways to integrate that into their daily work.
You made the jump from working at one school to another. What would you recommend people do if they want to do something similar?
Have an open mind and trust yourself. If you have 100% of the skills for the job already, it’s not a forward career move. Have faith in your ability to be resourceful, learn, and translate your experience and knowledge into something slightly different.
Create a strong professional network on campus. I know I am not alone and can always pick up the phone and call a trusted colleague for advice on handling a new challenge.
Any final words of wisdom to staff looking to grow their careers at UC Berkeley?
Ask someone with your dream job out to coffee. Have lunch with colleagues outside your department. Get an official mentor, or be a mentor, through BSA. Volunteer for a professional organization or conference like UCAAC, NACADA or NACE. Take advantage of UNEX courses in leadership and education.
If you’d like to advance your career with today’s methods read about the corporate lattice model- here.
Know someone (including yourself!) who has changed jobs at Berkeley? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured.