10 Qs with
Project Manager for AshBritt
1. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?
I would advise anyone to learn from others around you. Other people bring a variety of experiences. Never presume or assume that you know everything; always be open to learning and remember that you will make errors or make bad decisions from time to time; always accept the mistake or bad decision and move on. Don't dwell on the error or be too hard on yourself. Gerardo Castillo had urged me to create a journal of what I was learning along the road in order to reflect on it afterwards or between projects. He had stated that it was critical to understand the "why" behind the decisions I had made and would make in the future, as well as what I would do differently the following time or in a future project. Working in this sector taught me one of the most important lessons: don't take anything personally. Always provide your best effort and ask all of the pertinent questions.
6. HAVE YOU READ A RECENT ARTICLE OR BOOK THAT INSPIRED YOU?
When I was in Lubbock, I read Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, and now I'm reading David Goggins' You Can't Hurt Me. The book is very inspiring since it discusses how far we can push our minds and how we only use a small fraction of our brains to their full capacity because we don't push ourselves hard enough or create excuses. When I had to undertake 5:00 AM runs in December, I had to push myself to train, and reading this book significantly strengthened my confidence in myself because it demonstrated that I was exercising not only my body but also my mind. Just because something hurts or doesn't feel right doesn't imply it can't be fixed.
I'm a big community person, so having this type of job for the past year has been difficult. You work lengthy or odd hours, making it difficult to establish a routine or discover people who work the same hours as you. Now that I'm back in Austin, Texas, I've been trying to get back into running and different training groups to re-establish myself. Keeping in touch with friends is also crucial in my spare time, especially since I haven't seen them in over a year. When I was on missions in Lubbock and Beaumont, I always tried to locate a gym that was open in my spare time and things to do in the surrounding places that I could go on an adventure to. Working out is a significant stress reliever for me, so scheduling time during the week for me to go run with a new group or drive around town helped me stay engaged with others. I used to look for Herbalife locations near me since I enjoyed the protein shakes! It was also enjoyable to attend the festivities with the nurses. One of the nurses in Edinburg invited me to a salsa class one night, and I had a great time. I also used to volunteer with my local parish, which was extremely satisfying in so many ways.
2. WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
The same program that I ran my marathon with in 2013, I ended up returning two years later to coach at the same school where I graduated. It was quite satisfying. On a professional level I can say that working with AshBritt and dealing with the infusion centers was a very different experience. I am quite proud of myself and the teams I worked with because it was something I had never done before; I was working seven days a week, twelve hours a day. I had no experience in clinical management, such as managing nurses and supplying them with the necessary supplies. I would spend hours on Google researching so that I could put my best foot forward for them every day. One day during the mission, the call center was so busy that I ended up utilizing my phone to call patients, which resulted in my phone number being given out to others. After hours, a patient called to ask me to bring in goodies she had bought or the staff because she was so happy after the treatment and wanted to thank us. It was a very fulfilling experience for me because I got to see her and hear her stories of relief as a result of our service to her community. It made the seven-day-a-week, 12-hour days worthwhile. I take a lot of pride in what we accomplished as a group by assisting others.
Apart from salsa dancing, I'd like to highlight that I ran the Austin Marathon after not training for a year. I signed up for the Austin Marathon a year ago and ended up going on a mission in Lubbock, Texas, so I wasn't expecting to be able to train or attend the marathon, but it was pushed ahead a year due to covid. Then, a year later, I was on a mission in Edinburg at the time of the marathon and still hadn't trained, so I decided in my mind that it wasn't going to happen. I was given two weeks off a week before the race, which happened to fall on the day of the marathon. I was going to simply run the half marathon, but something told me I should just push through and do the whole marathon. It wasn't my best marathon, but it was the first one in which I didn't train at all and yet finished with a smile on my face.
3. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE A ROADBLOCK FOR WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY?
I've come to realize that being a woman, being young, and being placed in a leadership position can mean that certain men (not all of them) are simply not accepting and comfortable dealing with a woman in a leadership position. It's difficult for me to accept a little since I grew up in an all-girls school where women held almost every position, high or low, and it was hardwired into my brain that excelling in a role would be accepted by the community I was in. It was also never taught to me that I was superior to a male, but rather that I am just as capable. That linguistic difference formed me into the person I am today. By the time I was in a leadership position, I was feeling a little depressed, but I made sure that my work and leadership demonstrated that I was deserving of the position and that my team could rely on me. I felt compelled to prove myself because I was the only woman among the five project managers on the assignment. I never felt less, but I did feel a greater drive to excel.
I discovered at a young age that doing out, journaling, and reading helped me. So, I'd recommend finding something that helps you intellectually, spiritually, and physically and scheduling time after work or waking up early to do it. Everyone's schedule will be different, and you'll find the proper balance after you've established a pattern that works for you. It might be as simple as a bite of chocolate before bed or going for a walk. It's vital to me to be spiritually healthy, therefore establishing a prayer regimen helps me maintain my equilibrium. Set aside time for yourself!
10. SHARE YOUR BEST CAREER ADVICE.
4. SHARE A HOT TOPIC OR TREND IN YOUR FIELD!
Don't restrict yourself; sometimes we think we're not good enough for something since we don't know if we like it or if we're excellent at it till, we give it our all. Don't be afraid to let yourself grow. Experiment with different things if feasible. I knew I wanted to focus my career on health, but I was always afraid of business and management classes because I got caught up in my own thoughts. The opportunity to be placed in this leadership position, which allowed me to manage a team while focusing on operations, demonstrated to me that I was capable. Don't limit yourself in any way.
Right now, I'm mostly interested in COVID situations, which is unusual considering the topic isn't discussed much anymore. It's fascinating to think back to when I was on mission because there were moments when the call centers were exceedingly slow and the infusion centers were almost completely silent, but the science underpinning COVID is still being developed today. It is beneficial to me in my position to simply stay current and read any new article in case there is a vital piece of information that would be useful in my role. It is insane to look back to the last week of December 2021 when we were jam-packed in the centers, with people camping out hours before the centers opened to now having sites closing down.
Also, prior to my role with AshBritt, I knew very little about emergency management, so I prefer to broaden my knowledge whenever feasible. Because COVID is considered a national tragedy, I believe I now understand more about what AshBritt does. When I watch a tornado or storm on the news, I'm curious to see what AshBritt and the country's emergency management are doing. It feels fantastic to finally understand what it is and to be more conscious of it.