Registered Nurse, Austin Texas
What was your involvement in the MSC?
EVP Diversity 2017-2018, Champe Fitzhugh Student Leader, MSC FISH Chair and staff
What does a day in your life look like currently?
I work as a nurse in high-risk Labor and Delivery. I wake up around 5:30 a.m. to get to the hospital. When I get there, I'm given my PPE for the day and get my temperature checked at the door. I spend the day taking care of moms who are typically already really sick, but are now having to deliver their babies without their families for prevention of spread. Some are already infected with the virus. Most days I barely sit down for 13 hours. On a busy day, I'll deliver 3 babies by the end of my shift! I leave my shift around 7:30 p.m. and go home to go to sleep to go back the next day. Despite all this, there is still so much joy in bringing life into the world even under all this circumstances, and that's what I'm focusing on.
The MSC helps build leaders by providing opportunities to improve skills such as critical thinking, active listening, giving and receiving feedback, and others. What skills did you gain in your involvement with the MSC and how did your time as a student leader prepare you for your role during this challenging and unforeseen time?
My whole job is based on the skills of critical thinking, prioritizing, and working effectively under pressure. During all my years in the MSC, I was forced to critically think in regards to program planning, risk mitigation, and all the daily tasks I had as a student leader. I had wonderful mentors (shout out to Katy King!!) throughout my years that shaped me and taught me how to grow gracefully from feedback.
I have to be a leader, a good communicator, a rapid decision maker, and a hand-to-hold for my patients every single day. I would not have nearly the confidence I do as a nurse if I hadn't had years of doing this in different capacities for years within my roles in the MSC.
If you were to return to your time in the MSC, what skills would you personally focus on strengthening, especially in your current situation?
I think as leaders, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to perform under stressful situations. In college, this meant being able to gracefully balance duties as a student leader, getting good grades, having a job, and fulfilling social obligations. This often led to long days and little rest and it was easy to get overwhelmed.
If I could go back, I would focus on getting better and giving myself rest, grace, and finding joy in those situations. Leaders can't weather storms for long if they don't take care of themselves. Finding joy and reminding myself of what I'm thankful for is the only thing getting my through this current situation. I'm exhausted mentally and physically most days, but the thought that I'm going to get to hug the people I love when this is all over gets me through it. Mommas holding their babies for the first time gets me through it.
The MSC core values are Respect, Excellence, Leadership, Loyalty, Integrity, Service and Diversity. What core value best describes the work you do today?
Service. I'm biased because I spent 4 years involved in MSC Freshmen in Service and Hosting. When I walk through the hospital doors in the morning, my mindset changes to putting forth all of myself, my energy, skills and knowledge, to keep my patients safe and healthy. It's a default setting I strengthened from my time serving in the MSC.
What is one of your favorite memories from being involved in the MSC?
I loved the community I had walking into the SPO. There was always someone to talk to and get to know.