In Hillel, there are a lot of incredible people to look up to. Some are fantastic engagers, others remarkable educators, still others flawless fundraisers, and multiple managers of every type (coaches, leaders, teachers, and more). There are some rockstars out there: those people who Hillel International knows are incredible role models for newcomers and veterans alike, those people who have the ability to impact professionals on incredible levels. Luckily, one of my first introductions to the Hillel world was one of these leaders (malchut remember?) who had incredible strength of conviction and is wholeheartedly the reason that I am where I am today. This particular post goes out to an incredible blend of leadership and endurance: Susannah S.
Susannah doing what she does best: inspiring everyone around her! (Photo cred: Jessica Lott)
Without going into the details of what it is that I did that initially impressed Susannah, I can say that it was her effort and kindness that allowed me to endure through new rounds of job applications after two years, forty phone interviews, 20 final interviews, and one job offer. While I'm not working at the east-coast OSU (shout out to the WEST COAST OSU!), it was her encouragement that led me to have a phone interview with Hillel International, inevitably leading to my first phone call with The Andy, which landed me in this beautiful job situation I'm in now.
With every conference (be it in person or phone call), I get to enjoy the honest Susannah reaction, a person who believes that leadership is found through strength, endurance, questions, patience, and an ability to clearly articulate (to yourself AND others) what it is that you want in order to move forward. She is never too busy to answer a question or debrief a session with me (or anyone else) and is always willing to volunteer her time, energy, and passion into helping others succeed. When I was speaking with Susannah about how to better myself as a professional and get the best out of the conference I was attending, she explained that if I wasn't clear on what I wanted to do and to be, that no one was going to make it clearer for me. The decisions, the focus, and the inevitable impact of Global Assembly resided with me. The conference (and my professional direction) would/will be what I make of it.
While I'm often questioning my own leadership capabilities and personal/professional endurance (I am certainly stronger now than when I first interviewed with Susannah & Co.), I am thrilled to know that I have such an awesome coach in my corner. Questions, thoughts, jokes, arguments...I'm lucky to have such a dynamo to share them all.
*Personal note to Susannah: THANK YOU for helping me find Hillel and for helping Hillel find me!