Making a difference for our future generation is exactly what I would like to do in my future. That is precisely what Nichole Brownlee at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is doing. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s College and has been with St. Jude for 7 years as the Market Director for Indiana. I got the amazing opportunity to interview her about her career through a mutual connection.
I was able to connect with Nichole Brownlee before our interview through LinkedIn, so I could get to know her better. During the interview, I was able to ask her many questions that gave me a look into my future. Some of the questions I asked her are below along with her responses:
What’s a typical week like for you?
There is no typical work week! I work with volunteers and community partners a lot during the weekends, and I have many director responsibilities. I manage three people who coordinate events in Indiana and am the outreach person for the entire state of Indiana.
Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
Recently, I developed a relationship with Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Diversity and inclusion are a very important focus for our organization and personally to me as well. I was able to schedule a tour of St. Jude for students and faculty, including the president. We had a couple of meetings afterward for them to get involved. It was a really emotional experience. An experience that developed and grew very organically.
What do you wish you would have known before starting your career?
So much! I wish I would’ve known more about transitioning into a management role, and how to hone into that position. Also, knowing the good that you do; it is rewarding to get an opportunity to see the impact of our work.
How important is writing in your career?
Honestly, communication and writing are very important. We are communicating daily with various levels of executives, volunteers, patient families, and team members. Communication in general and timeliness is very important.
What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in this industry?
- Be ready to give 110%. Knowing that it is your time to prove yourself.
- Start to recognize where your strengths and weaknesses are. Concentrate on the weaknesses.
- Enjoy it. I love my colleagues and the work that we do.
Nichole Brownlee allowed me to learn more about her work life, and how humbling it truly is. I was grateful that she took the time to talk to me. Our interview makes me excited for the future, and I cannot wait for what is to come. I cherish all of the advice she gave and look forward to meeting her in the future.