People used to tell me all the time that I had one of the most exciting jobs on the planet and I most certainly did—until now!
I am a veteran journalist of 14 years. My early career was spent at major metro newspapers throughout the United States and overseas reporting for wire services, which allowed me to live, work and travel all over this country, and eventually on four other continents and more than 60 countries. Apparently, my investment in a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Oregon paid off well.
I wholeheartedly traded it all to embrace motherhood, a much more humbling and thankless role. Yet it was a truly unexpected gift, due to a complicated medical history. At 24, I had already survived three debilitating strokes that left me having to re-learn everything, both on cognitive and physical level. I spent a year in a wheelchair and couldn’t even count beyond the number 12. From this, I learned not to take anything (and I mean anything!) for granted.
I have always been a voracious learner. After having learned to retrain my brain entirely, I still hunger for new information all the time, but I’m now much gentler with myself in the way I learn. Hence, I value every facet of learning. I also learned with the right mindset, I could do anything as long as I was willing to learn.
Since a career in international travel was not conducive to motherhood, I spent my son’s first two years as a book editor and ghostwriter. Then when he was 2 1/2 we moved from Cape Town, South Africa. I settled in Portland where my parents reside, so they would be able to enjoy some much-desired time with their grandchild. I reinvented myself and spent the next 10 years in the corporate arena executing sales, marketing, training and communications for three very different companies. Since children help keep you rooted, I have now celebrated a decade in this splendid city set in the absolutely gorgeous Pacific Northwest.
There isn’t a lot I haven’t experienced in the workplace, especially when my jobs have spanned the gamut, from dealing with heads of states to heads of corporations, running from brush fires to putting out project fires. From investigative reporting to analytics, I have seen my life go from extensive foot-work sleuthing to mere finger flying searches, and typewriters to touch screens. (You get the point.) To me, information has always been a commodity. What remains the same for me is maintaining a high level of integrity in the way I approach all things.
Nevertheless, I wanted my next career move to be a very deliberate decision that would not only encompass my past experience but define the coming years ahead. I am fascinated by the start-up culture, but I wanted to be sure my professional life aligned with my personal values. As a global citizen and educator at heart, OpenSesame’s worldwide mission was definitely an appealing option.
OpenSesame is exactly the dynamic, can-do culture I was looking for in my next stepping off point. There is a true diversity in the way people think, learn and do, but there is also a constant vibrancy and steady commitment to improvement in the way each individual approaches their role and improving the experiences of those we serve. What’s not to love about educating and training people globally to improve their skills? I take great pride and joy that I can contribute to the learning and enhancement of all working beings.