We’d like to congratulate Liz Leverson for her selection as our April TorchLight Contractor of the Month!
TorchLight Contractor of the Month recognizes the high-quality work and contributions of contractors like Liz. Liz was selected because of her excellent collaboration skills and mission-driven approach. We recently sat down with Liz to learn more about her background, interests and career (she loves brussels sprouts and used to teach yoga to kids!).
Read on to learn more about Liz.
TL: Where did you grow up and where did you go to college? What did you study?
LL: I grew up in Long Island, New York. I went to the University of Vermont and majored in Psychology and later studied business at Thunderbird School of Global Management. Thunderbird was an amazing experience and I was able to combine my interests in business, cross-cultural studies and languages there (I’m fluent in French and Spanish).
TL: What did (or do!) you want to be when you grow up? How did you get into marketing and communications?
LL: After college, I came to DC and worked on Capitol Hill and then at a law firm. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer but after a few years in the law firm, I decided that I really wanted to work for a company that made something (a product) and ended up in business school with a focus in marketing. I have been in marketing ever since.
TL: What do you like to do for fun?
LL: I take a lot of yoga classes and used to teach yoga to kids. I’ve recently started doing Zumba too. When the weather is nice, I like to be outside running or walking/hiking with friends.
TL: Favorite food? Drink?
LL: It seems weird, but my favorite foods are roasted vegetables (especially brussels sprouts). My favorite drink would be a toss-up between a latte or a glass of red wine.
TL: One bucket list destination…
LL: I have done a lot of international travel for both work and fun, but I am still hoping to see parts of the US that I haven’t been to yet. Alaska is at the top of the list.
TL: What’s the best advice a manager has ever given you?
LL: Good data is essential, but you also have to trust your instincts.
TL: Do you have a mentor? If so, how did they become your mentor?
LL: I had three wonderful mentors early in my career who were my bosses at different times. They were all very unique, and I learned so much from all of them in very distinct ways. One taught me the importance of work-life balance, and the others taught me how to think out of the box and the value of an entrepreneurial mindset.
TL: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their career?
LL: Take a little time to prove yourself at work and then don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone by asking to do more and take on new responsibilities.
TL: What work accomplishment are you most proud of?
LL: I am most proud of my ability to pivot and adapt to what feels like a career of constant change. I have worked through fluctuating market dynamics, multiple mergers, and a return to the workforce after an extended time with small kids.
TL: What do you like about being a TorchLight contractor?
LL: I like that Torchlight brought me into an organization that I wouldn’t have necessarily known about otherwise. I had always worked in a for-profit setting and had been interested in getting into a nonprofit environment. Torchlight made that transition possible.