Position: Director of Performance Management
Employer: MyVA Task Force
Current City: Washington, DC
What does your job involve?
As the Director of Performance Improvement at the second largest federal agency, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), my job entails assisting local leaders and employees with implementing improvements to help Veterans receive the health care and benefits they have earned. Specifically, I work to advance Veterans’ issues within Congress, the White House and numerous external stakeholders.
How did your political science degree influence your career path?
My career path is directly linked to what I learned at the University of Houston. Specifically, Professor Sims taught me the practical applications of my political science degree. She not only spent a great deal of time teaching me to master public speaking, but also encouraged me to lead from the front in a male-dominated environment. The way I read language in a room is immensely influenced by the skills I acquired studying with her. Professor Sims also encouraged me to accept an internship with Annise Parker before she was the Mayor of Houston. Both Professor Sims and Mayor Annise Parker’s honest, candid communication taught me how to apply what I was learning in class to real-world situations and issues.
Do you have any advice for students who aspire to hold a job like yours?
I would advise students that would like to hold a position like mine to learn from failure and celebrate successes with your team. Try to always be honest about what you can deliver and face political realities without rose-colored glasses.