Diversity & Inclusion in Action is a feature highlighting employee stories of inspiration, perseverance and management best practices in workforce development and diversity. If you know of someone who should be considered for the series, email Emmanuela Menard or Dianne Austin, Human Resources.

How did you come to work here?

I started my career at the MGH in 2004 working in 3D imaging as a staff assistant. With the encouragement of my director, Gordon Harris, I went back to school and earned my bachelor’s degree in Health Care Management. From there, I’ve held a variety of roles including credentialing coordinator in Cardiology, grant administrator/financial analyst for the Laboratory for Computer Science and patient service coordinator for the Cancer Center. Currently, I’m a coordinator in the Volunteer Department. My role is to oversee and supervise the hospital’s 1,300 current volunteers. I interview and recruit new volunteers, place them in various roles throughout the institution and manage our office.

Have there been challenges along your career path? How did you overcome them?

There have been a few challenges along the way. One that stands out was a brief layoff a few years ago, and another was a role which wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped it would be. But I don’t look at these challenges as negative. I’ve learned a lot about myself when faced with adversity. Each role I’ve held has prepared me for the next one. And I’m appreciative of the knowledge I gained in these previous roles.

Has your career path taken any surprising turns?

It sure has. I’ve participated in volunteer work since a very young age. I was a candy striper at 14 for my local hospital. However, I never would have imagined working within the Volunteer Department. I believe this role is really where I’m meant to be and where I’m most comfortable. I love interacting with new people and empowering them to brighten another person’s day – to put a smile on another person’s face.

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is important?

My role in the Volunteer Department allows me the opportunity to work with one of the most diverse groups of individuals at the hospital. Volunteers choose to be here, which in my opinion makes them even more treasured. While working here, I’ve come to realize everyone has their own special story of why they want to volunteer. Hearing these stories truly puts life into perspective.

Have you found any support from the MGH during your time here that has impacted your career?

I was very fortunate to have been chosen for the administrative chair position of the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners (AMMP). While in this role I met some of the best colleagues without whom I would not have found my current position. It was through a networking session that I was introduced to Jackie Nolan, director of the Volunteer Department. She explained about her department and happened to mention they were recruiting for a coordinator. As she continued telling us about her role, the department and the diverse group of people she meets daily, you couldn’t help but be excited too. You could see the effect working in this department had on her – and I wanted to be a part of that. This role has been the most fulfilling and most rewarding of my career.

What advice would you give for those looking to create a more equitable environment here at the MGH?

My advice would be to get involved in the many committees MGH has to offer. The connections you make now could benefit you in the future. Have patience with people – you never know what challenges someone may be going through. Lastly, the world is full of nice people, if you can’t find one, be one.

This article was originally published in the 05/31/19 Hotline issue.