1. Tell us a bit about yourself
Well, I am a busy bee! I am the owner of Rock Career Development, a boutique career solutions firm focused on helping individuals achieve their full career potential. We provide a suite of career services from resume writing to career coaching, tailored to our clients' needs. I am also the lead Controller in the Baton Rouge area for a Chemical division of a major oil and gas company.
2. What was your first job and how did you get it?
My first professional job was as a Business Process Technician for JPMorgan Chase & Co. My role was to partner with the Card Services marketing department to build and execute direct mail marketing campaigns for credit cards. I actually interned in that same department the summer before my senior year in college, and I guess they liked me because they invited me back full-time!
3. How did you decide and get to your career today?
When I first started college, I told my parents I was going to be a sports agent. My dad, who was a financial planner / advisor at the time sat me down and said, I support whatever career path you choose. But have you researched sports management and understand what it takes? Is it niche or are the skills transferable? And at that point, I hadn't done any research at all. I thought Jerry McGuire was the blueprint. When I finally looked deeper at the career path, I realized it honestly wasn't what I wanted. So I chose to double major in Finance and International Business Administration. Once I graduated, I took on the full-time career in financial services at JPMChase. After being promoted twice in 3 years, I decided to go back and get my MBA. Once I completed my MBA, I entered the accounting world in the oil and gas industry, and literally just worked my way up! 7 years after my MBA, I now manage a large team that oversees almost $1B in operating expenses.
My entrepreneurship journey was interesting as well. I started helping friends and family with resumes and cover letters way back in 2005, 2006. I did it for free because it was fun. Then in about 2007, I started coaching them to prepare for interviews as well. Finally in 2013, I coached a good friend of mine to his first 6-figure job. He called me to tell me he got the job offer (wooohooo!), but also to tell me that I should start charging people because the services I provide were too good to keep giving away for free. So in July 2013, I started Rock Career Development. Fast forward 6 years, and here we are!
4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?
Speak up for yourself and take an active role in your career. Don't let your career just happen to you. You are the CEO and decide on where you want your career to head, and come up with a game plan. Network actively with professionals and decision-makers in your industry. Identify projects that you can work on to help build your brand in your organization. Find a sponsor who can advocate for your expertise and open doors for you. And most of all, be confident enough to ask for the opportunities you want! Remember that closed mouths don't get fed.
5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?
Ultimately, I would love to be living on a private island, ha! But in 5 years, my main focus is that I would like to see continued growth in the Rock Career Development brand.
I would love to do more international travel to speak on career and leadership development as I am passionate about helping as many people as possible realize their professional goals.
I also plan to establish a grant program to give women the support they need to thrive professionally, whether they choose to go the 9-5 or the entrepreneurship route. We as women have multiple odds stacked against us, so if I can help remove even one obstacle in another woman's career journey, I'm happy to make that difference.
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