We are just a few days away! Eileen Rogers, Principal at Allegra Marketing & Print is our Keynote speaker for the event and is up on the WIL panelist blog series. Read Eileen's interview questions below! This is your last chance to register, so make sure you do so HERE.
What was your dream job as a child and why?I wanted to be a number of things – an adventure travel writer, an FBI/CIA agent, firefighter and a social worker. Action and impact seem to be the general themes I was seeking now that I look back. It’s still true too… now I want to be Tia Leone’s character in Madame Secretary. Who says I can’t still be?
What has been your biggest professional challenge as a female leader?
Early on in my career, there weren’t many solo women in the printing industry. Most were working in their companies with their husbands, so I chose to search for role models outside the field. It was incredibly helpful in shaping my business perspectives. I will also never forget the first salesperson who walked in and asked me if he could speak to the owner, or the first banker I needed for a loan. He spoke directly to my male co-signer the entire time I was in his office and never to me. It was so disrespectful. After I got the loan, we switched banks a few months later.
Where did you go to college and what was your first job out of school?
College was an adventure. I earned my way through it with 18 jobs. I began at Carroll College in Wisconsin, went abroad to Bishop Grosseteste College in England, and finished up at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. When I graduated in 1982, I set out for Arizona, grad school and my MBA. Instead, I walked into a printing company and never left. It was my first job and has been my only one since then!
Tell me about your professional career track?
Armed with my new business and marketing degree, I was hoping to attended Thunderbird and get an international marketing degree. My thought was I’d work for a large global corporation and travel the world. Fortunately, I was open to options and risks. My walk in visit to the printing company resulted in a sweat-equity partnership deal. I was able to secure 100% ownership after 13 years and have never looked back. I did finally get to Thunderbird though and have a Global Leadership Certificate from there. I also have my coaching credential now.
What advice do you have for young female professionals?
Start with, “I am enough NOW.” Because you are. Spend thoughtful time really defining success for yourself. Think about it well beyond income, possessions and titles. Knowing this about yourself will give you a great framework to make your career decisions.
Any advice on how to achieve a happy work-life balance?
Don’t try to achieve it! Blending is the word that makes more sense for me. At the end of each day, if you made the best priority decisions you could in the circumstances – be happy. It might be work one day, and family that takes precedence the next. If you can say yes at the end of most days, that’s terrific. I don’t believe that life should be what’s left over when you come home from work. Don’t second guess yourself either – better, and more of something, doesn’t always make you happier or more successful.