What inspired you to work at Berkeley Lab?
During my career, I was fortunate to be selected to attend the California Governor & First Lady’s Conference on Women hosted by Maria Shriver. This conference provided me the opportunity to engage in once-in-a-lifetime conversations and motivated me to also reflect on my true purpose, passion, and power, which was to impact others. I joined Berkeley Lab because I was inspired by the Lab’s mission, specifically, the research in the human health area. My son, who has been in complete remission for almost two decades, had early childhood cancer. The thought of no known cure and the experimental trials that he went through has always been on my mind. So, while I myself am not a doctor or research scientist advancing efforts to find a cure, I felt a strong connection and purpose to help advance the Lab’s mission and contribute to society by integrating my financial and operational leadership expertise into the Lab’s team science culture.
What have you been most proud of in your work?
I’ll be celebrating 12 years with the Berkeley Lab in February 2023. From the moment I started with the Lab, I’ve approached my work as being focused on positively contributing towards advancing the mission, sharing my expertise, mentoring others, and making sure I deliver quality and timely work products. Through this approach, I’ve supported financial portfolios ranging from $70M to $370M annual spend, supported the construction and opening of five new buildings onsite and several other large upgrade projects, and was at one point part of a team that brought a farmer’s market event to the Lab. One project I’m particularly proud of was implementing a multi-year indirect budgeting and planning process in operations for the first time at the Lab.
But above all, I am most proud to be working with brilliant, diverse colleagues across the Lab. I’ve met and worked with hundreds of colleagues across the Lab whose collegiality and willingness to share their ideas, knowledge, and humor makes work worthwhile.
Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter and/or succeed in your field of work?
Besides having the foundational technical knowledge in accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and other areas, they should be curious, ask questions, and be willing to learn. There’s a wide range of depth in the finance field, so I would also recommend that they talk to someone in the field like a career advisor or mentor to discuss the range of possibilities and acquire work experience.
How can our community engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?
We have great community outreach and internship programs at the Lab hosted by the K-12 team and Workforce Development & Education. Pre-pandemic, one of my favorite events was the Daughters and Sons Day at Work; it was so much fun to see kids onsite so excited about science and being at the Lab. Concurrent with other great efforts and programs, I think we all can do our part to help get the word out within our local communities and share information about the Lab and the opportunities with STEM and STEM-related careers and opportunities.