Meet the speakers at this year’s Continuity Insights Management Conference, then click here to learn more about the 2023 event.
When did you know you wanted this job?
I was fortunate to join Liberty Mutual after I decided I wanted to move from the public to the public sector. After networking with a colleague I had worked with as a contractor with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and saw the job opening, I learned he was the hiring manager for the Business Continuity group. He brought me in for interviews and fortunately, I was offered a BC project manager position.
How did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?
After the 9/11 Attacks, I worked for the September 11 Recovery Program the Red Cross set up in New York City starting in 2003. Although it was a challenging role, I found I loved working on disaster recovery. So, I have been doing something related to “disaster” or “crisis” work ever since.
What career mistakehas given you the biggest lesson?
Although I love working at Liberty Mutual, I took a role that was several steps back in terms of capability. However, it was an opportunity to move to working with an amazing company. If I could do it over, I might have waited to move into a senior or executive role. Or, left Liberty after a couple years to pursue a new role. I was thankful for the opportunity at the time and it was a way to transition into business continuity.
What research did you do to prepare for this role?
I became certified in business continuity management and talked to others doing similar work in the private sector. I also conducted on-line research on business continuity job openings on Indeed and similar platforms.
What was your first “win” that made you confident that you were doing the right thing?
I got hired for the role I applied for!
How do you avoid being complacent in your role?
It is difficult to be complacent at Liberty as the work is ever-changing and there is an opportunity to work with SMEs and stakeholders enterprise-wide.
What is the biggest risk that you’ve taken?
Moving to New York City, a place I had only visited twice before and moving from a social work/mental health director role to working for an NGO (American Red Cross) that provided disaster relief.
What did you do at work yesterday?
I assessed risk incidents escalated by our Security Operations Center, conducted an exercise, met with my team, and worked to complete a Business Impact Analysis.
How did you set yourself apart from others who wanted the same job?
For me, networking, certification, and being Senior Instructor for a local college to teach future Healthcare Administrators about Disaster & Terrorism were what set me apart from my competition.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I have received is don’t be afraid to take risks and apply for positions you don’t have every qualification for.
What advice would you give to your younger self at the start of your career?
If I could go back, I would have made the transition to the private sector sooner, as I have found it very rewarding for may reasons. However, at times I miss the ability to directly support local communities through emergency response and providing disaster recovery services.
What impresses you the most when you are considering hiring someone?
The ability to communicate, the willingness to think of things in new ways, and displaying enthusiasm for the work. These aspects matter more than “checking the box” that they have all of the qualifications listed in a job posting.
How do you, your team or company define success?
The ability to deliver on goals and successfully achieve outcomes are good indicators of success. Beyond that, ensuring there is positive feedback from customers and employees is an important aspect of measuring success.
What is the biggest challenge to achieving that success?
The definition of success can be different for everyone. For me, I am someone who always strives to improve so a pathway for growth and continued achievement is important for my own wellbeing and success. Although not always obtainable in-role at organizations, I have found that building my own personal brand provides me with feeling of success when my peers value my inputs and contributions to the industry.
To learn more about Ashley’s session and to view the full conference agenda, click here.