A*cute has added a new section to the blog. “Blazing Professionals with Cool Careers” will feature a young professional each week. The purpose of this section is to showcase young professionals who are making strides in their careers, tell readers how to break into the prospective industry, provide insight into different dress codes for various work environments and challenge readers to express their personal style in the work place but still maintain a professional image. Our first feature this month is Fadesola from the Washington, DC area.
“I work at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. I am a Project Officer working on the Regional Extension Center Cooperative Agreement program, a provision made under the guise of the HITECH Act that was signed into law under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009. I work with 9 centers over 13 states and territories, which include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“My day-to-day responsibilities vary, but I typically am running in and out of meetings with Program Directors and State Leaders. I am responsible for monitoring over $100M in federal funding, so ensuring compliance with federal regulations is an essential component of my job. I also provide technical assistance to guide our programs on how to accelerate adoption of e-technologies in physician offices and meaningfully use them to help achieve the outcomes they desire for their patient population. From time to time I present information either on panels or at meetings on leading practices and data that we’ve collected from the experience thus far.
“Work-Life balance is what I find most challenging. When you have a work-provided blackberry and laptop, it seems as if you are working 24/7. Sometimes I have to treat myself to a standard 9-5pm day to ensure that my sanity remains in tact.
“I’m participating in a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the delivery of health care. The government has provided billions of dollars in funding to assist health care providers with the adoption of e-technologies to improve health outcomes and the delivery of care among their patient population. To say that I played a role in that, I played a role in improving and impacting the health of a population, that’s inspiring.”
Where to start
“If I could give advice to anyone trying to get their foot in the door, I would tell them to be visible, leverage your alumni network and join a professional organization. I applied to a government fellowship, and that is how I was hired at my current job. However, a number of my colleagues that work in my office or along similar veins have heard about their jobs via alumni listservs and events sponsored by a professional organization. Even now, I make sure I keep a decent pulse on what’s going on in the field– my membership and participation in several professional organizations has helped.
“My college education significantly contributed to where I am today. I attended a well-known university in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. Their involvement in policy, especially health policy has added to the value of my degree. The career database at the university’s career center was pretty helpful. As an undergraduate student, I always had an internship or a well-paying job, and these internships and jobs were ones I found via the career database. Also, to be quite frank, my university has some prestige in the Public Health industry, so having them as apart of my resume helps.
Style in the office
“The normal work attire/dress code at my place of employment is business or business modified
“I’m very trendy with most of my business ensembles. Being a female helps, so I’m always finding trendy ways to maintain my business attire. I definitely hopped onto the Michelle Obama bandwagon when I decided to begin pairing my cardigans with a cute waist belt. I’d consider myself somewhat of a trendy person, so I maintain a lot of my “trendyness” and personal style the stilettos and accessories I wear.
Love for African prints
“I don’t necessarily wear my ankara (the african print usually worn for special occasions) to the office. Well, I’ll take that back. I do have some ankara blazers, so I’ll pair that with a business skirt or business slacks from time to time when I come into the office. When I have a seamstress sew my ankara, I typically have them sewn into styles for every day wear. So a cute little cocktail dress for an after 5pm event or a nice gown for an evening gala.”
-As told to A*cute editors by Fadesola. Special thanks to Fadesola for sharing her story with us. If you have any questions for Fadesola, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will answer you as soon as possible.