Greetings Divas! I hope that your week has been productive! My week is just about to get better, as I am ready to introduce another fabulous Professional Diva that I have had the pleasure to meet…at least virtually. Today’s diva is Lahesha Williams from Chicago, Illinois. Lahesha, who has a degree in Information Technology (Networking), is an adjunct instructor at a local school’s Business Careers Program. In addition, Lahesha is the founder of Students Empowered, Inc., and Career Help for Christians. Both organizations seek to help individuals in career and professional development. Lahesha has graciously agreed to answer a few questions in the “Haute Seat.” Let’s get to know her better, shall we?!
Can you give a description of what you do in your current position?
Currently, I’m moonlighting as an adjunct Instructor at a local school in the Business Careers Program. I teach courses that help adults obtain any Microsoft Certifications. This role is great for me because I’m all about empowering people to be better in life, and how else can we impact the lives of others, other than by educating them.
Please give a summary of your resume, and how you landed at your current position.
My background includes more than 12 years of proven success in IT (Data Networks & Database Mgmt.), community outreach, project management, and career counseling. I worked with companies such as DeVry, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., and local Community Organizations.
My passion in life includes working with individuals to hone in on their potential to be a STAR in life! This is demonstrated by my current endeavors: Founder of a non-profit organization, Students Empowered, Inc. (high-school aged, student development non-profit organization); and Career Help for Christians (career and professional development blog/services).
What professional accomplishment makes you the proudest?
If I had to pick only one, it would definitely be the fact that I was recruited by Cisco Systems, Inc. before I graduated from my undergrad program – I had to negotiate my start date to begin AFTER I graduated! It was also a great accomplishment for me because I was a first generation college graduate (from a family who had only known poverty). So my children were able to see that hard work PAYS off ;-)
What is your advice for women who would like to enter into your profession?
Two things: 1) Outside of becoming an ‘expert’ in your discipline, you must take advantage of internships and volunteer opportunities. Be willing to accept roles that may not directly be attached to your education or goals if you do not have enough ‘relationship capital’ in your industry. 2) Learn how to be a great networker and connector of people – It’s so true that a lot of times, it’s not what you know, but who you know.
How do you balance you career with your personal life?
That is something I’m still learning how to do…but I am very intentional about MAKING TIME to enjoy life!
What do you do in your spare time?
What is that?? No really, I enjoy a good evening spent playing Bidwhist! I’m also a reader – I’m a fan of all things John Grisham, J.D. Robb, and most Christian living books.
|Lahesha and Her "JOY"|
What personal accomplishment makes you the proudest?
Hands down, the maturity level of my two wonderful Children! I call them my Pride (my son – 17 y/o) and my Joy (Daughter – 12 y/o). They are both so much like me, but in totally different ways from each other – if that makes sense.
My son is very academically driven, and a great athlete (Football – WR, Track, and bowling). He also takes his role as the only male in the household very seriously. If I had to categorize him, he would be one that uses the left side of his brain. My daughter is much more creative and free flowing in the way she processes things (a trait that my son and I love to have in the house!), she is a genuine lover of people, past their faults, actions and/or appearances. Oh, and she also LOVES to cook (I have NO IDEA where she gets that from!).
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years, professionally and personally?
Professionally, one of my goals in life is to open a staffing agency, in 10 years I pray that it will be so.Those that know me personally, know that I am a Faith-Full person, unapologetically Christian. So one of my personal goals in life is to attend a seminary and work toward my MDiv!
What else do you want our readers to know about you and/or your career path?
A fact that I recently realized about each position I’ve held, it was because I volunteered at the agency or someone referred me for the position.
What is your favorite martini?
I’m not a drinker any more, but when I did have a drink or two, I would order a Mojito Martini.
Whew! What a great interview with Lahesha! She hit on some very important career tips that current and soon-to-be Professional Divas should consider. The one that sticks out the most is the importance of volunteering and internships, which is a great way to learn more about your craft in the beginning of your career. It is also a great way to meet others in your profession. Lahesha shares many other career and professional development tips on her blog/service website Career Help For Christians. Please be sure to stop in, and take advantage of all the great professional advice…I stop by all the time!