Brand You: One Year Later
Share Your Story Blog Series
From IWL Brand You Transformation Participant, September Fox
September Fox participated in the Brand You Transformation with Starla West International and Integrating Woman Leaders, Inc. at the 2013 Women’s Leadership Conference. Now she shares her story with us again, one year later.
Please give us some background about yourself, September.
I am a single mom with a 17 year old spending the summer in France with IU Honors. I work at Roche Diagnostics. I have a bachelor’s degree in business management and a Master’s in Adult and Community Education, as well as, Executive Development for Public Service. I worked in the IT field for over 15 years. For the last three years, I have been a certified Health and Wellness Coach. However, last month, I moved to an IT Trainer position in Roche Diagnostic’s Commercial Education. Since then, I was given the Team Lead position for the CD IT Team. (Centralized diagnostics) As many of you learned, I used to be morbidly obese, but chose to have bariatric surgery. I am celebrating 4 years of a new me as of June 3. Since then, I have changed my life, become more confident and determined.
What made you want to take part in the Brand You Transformation at the IWL Conference last year?
Roche sent out an ENews invite to write an essay and apply to be a part of Brand You. I had been working on myself for a couple of years. I knew I wanted to move up in the company. My daughter will be going to college and I wanted to have something important for myself. I believe in what Roche does, so I started to focus on my career. I had been taking leadership courses and advantage of any opportunities to grow. This seemed like the perfect next step for me. I had been sitting in meetings with women leaders at Roche. There is a distinct difference in how they dress, carry themselves and communicate. I wanted to be a part of that team.
Please tell us again about your efforts last year to be what you called “super mom.”
I am very invested in my daughter’s life. I believe that when you choose to have a child, that you are committed to investing your energy and choices for the betterment of their life. I am Hannah’s entire support system. I make sure she has what she needs, and mostly I am working to make sure she is self-sufficient. This summer, she is living in Saumur France with the IU Honors Immersion Program. She is a great kid and has such a bright future. This summer will be very difficult to be apart with very little communication, but I believe it will set her up for a great life. Helping her set and meet her goals is so rewarding to me. I can’t imagine any more important relationship.
Last year you described that after your surgery you really embraced life. It seems like you took some great strides before we all had the opportunity to meet you. Now after the Brand You transformation, what has changed in your life as a result?
In this past year, I have moved into a new role at Roche. I am now in Commercial Education. I believe that I was already on the road. I had/have a mentor who strongly supported me and helped me focus on what I want to achieve. Recently, I applied for the team leader role. I honestly didn’t think it was possible, but people leader is one of my biggest goals. I was blessed to be given the opportunity with this new role. I really feel like I am on the path set before me. Brand you helped me come up with my personal ‘three words’ Confidence, Performance and Motivation. My mentor actually gave me these words and I believe in them. I recently sat through a seminar that talked about how your belief in yourself has to match what others see, before it can be your brand. I feel that these are the words that represent me. I know that Brand You changed my life in more obvious ways too. I shop more consistently and carefully now. I think about what is right for me. I think about my clothes as a statement of who I am. It has actually been very freeing.
How did you develop your brand from last year to now? What have you struggled with most?
Self-confidence has always been my weakness. However, this past year has allowed me to grow and change. I was confident enough to apply for the team lead role, even after only being in my position 1 month. I have learned that you should raise your hand, even if you’re not sure. My daughter always says something like ‘fake it until you become it’. I started talking about my brand. I created a ‘brochure’ about myself. I have used it for interviews and other areas, such as a development program at Roche. I have shared it with others, also. I am more confident to speak up. I trust my thoughts and ideas. It is all a part of those words, confidence, performance and motivation. I have shared with others that if they choose me, they will get a confident person, with a great record of performance and work ethic but I am extremely motivated to improve, challenge and change any situation for the better.
How do you hope to continue to grow your brand?
I am excited to venture into people leader role this year. I intend to live my brand by being consistent and accountable. I am stretching myself in volunteer roles, such as Pass the Torch for the Mentoring Women’s Network, as well as on the programs committee for HealthCare Business Women’s Association.
What advice can you offer other women how may be struggling to take the next step in their own development?
I used to struggle with advice for others, but now, I really feel strongly about this. If you need help, find a mentor. I cannot express how much mine has meant to me. Then, define what it is that you want. In a company like Roche, the possibilities are incredible. You can move to a different area and it’s like you are in a new world. But, find what it is you are passionate about. For me, it has always been education. So, I focused on Commercial Ed. Then, start reaching out to others in that area. Meet with people. I find that they are always generous. Be ready to ask the questions. I had one director ask me directly, ‘what are you asking from me’. I was ready with the answer… I want to work for you. Tell me what I can be doing now, to be ready when that opportunity arises. Then, do what they say. It might take a while. For me, it was a year. But what a great year!
Contributed by: September Fox, IT Trainer, Commercial Education, Roche Diagnostics Corporation