Next up on the WIL panelist blog series, we have Paula Rosson, Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer at MPLX (formerly Markwest Energy). Get to know Paula by reading her answers to the following questions!
What was your dream job as a child and why?
Ever since 10th grade when I did a bookkeeping simulation, I wanted to be an accountant. I really had no idea what an accountant did, but I thought it seemed so fun to put together the financial statements. It was a great introduction because here I am still doing it!
What has been your biggest professional challenge as a female leader?
I don’t think of myself a “female” leader but rather, just a leader. The biggest challenge I have faced is to learn how to adjust my communication style so that conversations are productive. I have a tendency to be a little too straightforward at times, so I’ve learned to watch my delivery.
Where did you go to college and what was your first job out of school?
I attended Utah State University in Logan, Utah (the lesser known Aggies). My first job after University was with Ernst & Whinney, one of the big eight public accounting firms at the time.
Tell me about your professional career track?
After spending 9+ years in public accounting, I moved to industry. I have worked for a commercial printing business, customer service business, medical device business and now oil & gas. In each company, I was able to move up in the organization and taken on more responsibility.
What advice do you have for young female professionals?
Know what you are worth in the marketplace and don’t expect raises to come automatically. Spend time with recruiters, peers, etc., and monitor the industry you are in to know what the market is paying for your skills. Then go, and ask for the raise!
Any advice on how to achieve a happy work-life balance?
I guess I don’t think of it as work-life balance. What I was taught was that there are five aspects for a balanced life: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social. The aspect I struggle with keeping in balance is spiritual. So, I try to disconnect from work and email and reconnect with the spiritual by going off the grid and connecting with nature. If I remind myself occasionally of my five needs and schedule disconnection time, then I find I am a very happy person.