Joy Hawkins

Posted On November 17, 2015
Categories Alumni Success

“Most of my skills have been learned from diving in and doing something I was not trained to do in the past”

What are your typical day-to-day activities in your career?

In my current career with a needs-based scholarship program, my typical day is not typical; it varies widely from fund raising to revising program regulations to meeting with students and school personnel. I really like the variety that my current career includes.
When I began two years ago, the needs-based scholarship program had just launched. From that time until now, my job has included marketing the program, creating collateral, conducting strategic planning sessions and refining the program (based on a pilot phase). Now, I am transitioning into the newly created foundation that will conduct fund raising for the program. This is another exciting challenge.

What process did you go through to enter (or rise) to your position? Which skills and experiences distinguished you from other candidates?

My 30 years of experience working in the legal, nonprofit and political environments was the ideal set of experiences for my current position (VP of REACH). In previous careers, I have had to be entrepreneurial in my approach and this is certainly the case with my current position. Most of my skills have been learned from diving in and doing something I was not trained to do in the past. I have learned a lot about my passions and interest just by taking on tasks I have not done in the past.
Distinguishing me from other candidates could have been the fact that my creative side is a nice balance to my legal training. Additionally, I enjoy people and have learned to create amazing relationships and keep them over the years.

“When I was a student, I wish I had known….”

How important relationships really are! Every opportunity in my 30+ years has been because someone I knew referred me to the opportunity.
I also wish I had known that you don’t necessarily decide what you want to be in college/post graduate work. School is foundational; it’s VERY IMPORTANT to try various jobs while in school to get an understanding about what you like and don’t like. It’s also important to know that most of what you learn in life is through new experiences. You will learn from listening, reading, watching and experimenting