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Vicki Sullivan

Vicki Sullivan

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am a Sr. Technology Project/Program Manager supporting Eagle Accounting for multiple business segments. As a project manager, I facilitate the execution of strategic initiatives in furtherance of strategic objectives. This is a fancy way of saying I help large, diverse and far-flung groups of people coordinate their efforts to making things better for our clients, technologists, and operations partners. I also have application manager responsibilities, which covers a wide range of activities: reviewing vulnerability reports to ensure remediation steps are taken, working with application stakeholders to prioritize work and secure resources, ensuring that changes introduced to the environment have been thoroughly vetted, and making sure we ask the right questions to solve the right problems.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I decided to become a member this year to take full advantage of all the great training, coaching and networking opportunities available. I was really inspired by the 2019 Mobilize Women Summit, which I attended virtually. I am looking forward to more great events and growing my network.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

In order to be successful in any position, you have to always be learning and always be teaching. You can never have all the answers yourself, but if you know who has the answers you can learn from them. Giving people permission to not have all the answers helps to foster this continuous learning mindset, and increases collaboration within and across teams, so we can each build skills and knowledge and deliver meaningful results to our clients.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

My company, like most in financial services, has been in a constant state of evolution (and sometimes revolution!) I have worked for The Boston Co, Mellon Corp, Russell/Mellon, Mellon Analytical Solutions, & BNY Mellon and have over the years collected swag and business cards with many different logos, but I have always had the same office telephone number. Projects were just a way of life, and it suited me well. While I started out in operational roles (both front and back office), I have always had a project role as one of my hats. At one point in my ops life, I had reached a plateau and a new position opened up that was project focused, still leveraging my business expertise. I kept spinning to new roles that expanded my business breadth and depth, and then eventually spun into a technology project role.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

I hope that my work inspires and encourages people to stretch, not fear failure, be comfortable in not having all the answers and jump in to find the answers.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

I work hard & like to have a lot to do; I get bored & frustrated if there is not a variety of challenges in my work. Since my responsibilities are so varied, I generally get the opportunity to learn something new and (usually) interesting every day. I deal with many different groups and get to learn about many different areas of expertise and the unique career paths that people have followed to arrive at where they are. I also facilitate decision making and get to hear many points of view.

What is your morning ritual?

I make coffee as soon as I get up. I like to start reviewing emails and my schedule for the day while watching the news and drinking my coffee. Once I am caffeinated and informed, I am ready to charge through the day.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

Balance to me is all about setting priorities across all facets of your life. Work-life is too limiting. I find my work rewarding and I give it my all, but I take a lunch break every day, even if it is only 20 minutes. Family is important, and when my family needs me I am there, but I realized long ago that you cannot work full time outside the home and participate in all your kids' activities the way a stay-at-home parent might. I didn't go to EVERY game, but I went as often as I could and we always talked about their day as well as mine. If I am especially stressed out, I take time out for myself, and do not add guilt to my stress for focusing on me.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Mistakes happen. Beating yourself up about it will not allow you to grow and learn. Don't make excuses, and don't berate or flagellate yourself. Show everyone around you, above and below, how you learn from experience and become a better you.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

You can do it all, but you cannot do it all at once. Figure out what is really important and then stick to your priorities. Be flexible in how you get there and strict about where you want to be. Remember that you are setting an example for your children with how you work; show them the satisfaction you get from work. Be a whole person that loves and cares for family, career and self.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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