In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting Liaison employees who identify as women whose contributions have been integral to our success.
Becky White, Associate Vice President, Enrollment Management Solutions, is responsible for engaging students, driving application completion and unifying enrollment processes with the company’s Centralized Application Service (CAS).
What drew you to the technology industry?
Becky White (BW): I’ve always been interested in technology. I get excited about learning new ways to do things. Technology is a big part of how I’m able to reach more people, accomplish more things in my day and streamline processes to make my life easier as a mom and woman in business. When I saw firsthand how technology services positively impacted my day-to-day work in admissions, I thought that it would be a fun challenge to learn how to be successful on the “other side” and work with multiple campuses to address their needs.
The biggest thing that excites me about my work in the technology industry is showing others that learning new skills and using proven technology solutions provides quantifiable results while providing more time and space to do the things they really enjoy in their role. This often means directors of graduate admissions and deans get to focus more on strategic planning, working more closely with students, mentorships and making bigger impacts in their communities.
What’s one of the greatest challenges you’ve faced as a person who identifies as a woman in the workplace?
BW: I spent a lot of time early on apologizing for everything and for what, I’m not sure. You don’t have to start every sentence with “I’m sorry, but…”
I would apologize for speaking up, sharing ideas or thinking I was inconveniencing someone when I needed something. It’s been something I’ve had to constantly work through because I consider myself a nice person and I was raised with values to respect everyone and treat people with kindness. I think it’s really important for women to understand that being kind and respectful doesn’t mean you need to constantly be apologetic. I’ve had this conversation with my female friends who are leaders in other companies and we’ve all agreed this is something women do unconsciously. I think this is something women are getting better at, but I think it’s always going to be something we need to be aware of.
It’s important for women to have confidence, know that your voice matters and what you bring to the team is as much of an asset as what your male counterparts bring. You don’t have to be sorry for that!
What is the most impactful professional lesson you’ve learned since you began your career?
BW: I was a college basketball player and I constantly throw out quotes that my coaches growing up shared with me. So yes, it’s true, what you learn as an athlete growing up will follow you in your professional career.
Growing up as a kid when the Chicago Bulls were everything, Michael Jordan was my idol. It’s cliché and it’s silly, but his quote about failing over and over again has been impactful to me in business. He said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
You have to put yourself out there and you have to take risks. Not everything is going to go your way all the time but stop worrying about failure. Instead, focus on being the hardest working person in the room even when no one is watching and learn from all situations, good and bad. Then I believe success will follow. It is the little things that you do day in and day out that have significant results.
Where do you see yourself professionally in 10 years?
BW: I love working with people, helping them see their potential and being a part of a department that has an impact on the overall success of a company from both a revenue and client acquisition perspective. Leading teams and moving into leadership roles are certainly part of my professional goals. I love Liaison and the work I am doing now, so I hope that as we continue to experience growth, I’ll find a place within the company to move into a leadership role. No matter what, I’m certain I will still be in higher education as I’ve devoted my career and graduate education to enrollment management and higher education leadership.
When you’re faced with a tough professional challenge, who/what/where do you look for guidance?
BW: I have some personal business mentors who I work very closely with. We are in different industries but I know that when I need some guidance, I can go to these mentors/friends who are at the top of their game in business.
My husband, Will, is a great support from a personal and business standpoint because he’s direct and doesn’t tell me what I want to hear. He tells me what I need to hear in order to be the best and get through challenges I’m faced with. He was also a college basketball player and coach, so he tells it like it is.
I also believe that we have great leadership at Liaison. When I have a challenge, I don’t keep it to myself. I try to work with my colleagues and our teams to get information, look at things from a different perspective or just get some advice so that I can maximize success.
Bottom line, I believe that if you want to get through challenges, you’ve got to have people in your corner who hold you accountable, push you to be better and tell you the truth (even when you don’t want to hear it) so that you can continually learn and grow.