- How did you connect with Strategic Partnerships?
I was interning at Jobs for Washington’s Graduates Foundation (JWG), the Washington-state affiliate of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG). Due to my past work with JWG and my plans to move to D.C. post-graduation, Leslie Schmitz, executive director of JWG, connected me with Janelle Duray, senior vice president of Strategic Partnerships.
- What is your role with Strategic Partnerships?
As the Client Relations Assistant for Strategic Partnerships, I assist Janelle in research and writing assignments related to client work, including drafting agendas, briefing materials, client follow-ups, and more.
- What drew you to joining SP?
Initially, it was the ability to stay connected to JAG and my passion for workforce development. After learning more about Strategic Partnerships, I was drawn to the opportunity to work with a range of clients and projects that encompass multiple industries and sectors. Plus, I enjoy having variety in my work and felt that was something SP excels at.
- What skillset or area of expertise are you most looking forward to utilizing and sharing with the SP team and clients?
I have a passion for listening to and helping people with their problems – it’s why I studied journalism and public policy. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with the SP team and clients, using my background in communications to help solve their problems.
Also, I’m more than happy to share my baked goods with the SP team!
- What prior role or professional achievement are you most proud of and want to make the SP community knows about?
I would say I’m most proud of the work I did with Leslie and JWG in the past year. I’m particularly proud of the work we did expanding the Employer Engagement Model, partnering with Washington companies such as Conduent, Nordstrom, and Port of Seattle to provide apprenticeship and employment opportunities to our JWG students.
- What was the most recent position you held prior to joining SP?
I just graduated in June with a Master’s in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. During my second year of the program, I interned at Jobs for Washington’s Graduates Foundation, working on fundraising, development, and strategic communications for the nonprofit.
- Have you been working in the same career field or have you experienced a variety of professional fields?
I have worked in a variety of professional fields, mostly in the food service industry, before going back to school for an MPA.
- What was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Hmm, certainly not unusual as a job but I worked at a bakery for several years and during that time attended a culinary and pastry arts school.
- What are three words you would use to describe your personality?
Curious, funny, and compassionate.
- If you could go back 10 years and give yourself advice, what would you tell yourself and why?
I would tell myself to not stress the small stuff in life and to focus on setting aside time for exercise and spending time with family and friends.
- What do typical weekends look like for you?
Typically, I like to spend my weekends in the kitchen baking and cooking. I’m going through a big bread making phase right now; I’ve baked homemade bagels every week for a month straight. I’m also a big reader and traveler, which I’m looking forward to having a lot more time for on the weekends now that I’m done with graduate school!