Growing confidence

Would you trust a student with a $250,000 budget? Donna Williams has.

Donna Williams knows that the key to mentoring is alllowing students like Tyler Lamberts to take responsibility. (photo: Jim Folts)

Donna Williams knows that the key to mentoring is alllowing students like Tyler Lamberts to take responsibility. (photo: Jim Folts)

As assistant director for OSU Conference Services, Williams manages many of the conferences and events held on campus every year, working behind the scenes to make sure everything run smoothly and professionally. And over the past two years, she’s counted on Tyler Lamberts, a business marketing major who graduated last spring. “Tyler can do most anything,” Williams says.

And she has. In her second year on the job, Lamberts went beyond basic conference logistics like registration and catering to work on marketing plans, Web sites and budgets.

Besides the challenge of increasingly greater responsibilities, Williams gives encouragement and feedback, but she doesn’t micromanage. As a result, “my confidence has grown,” Lamberts says. “Having the responsibility of the job makes me happy. Donna knows I’ll get it done.”

Within the OSU Conference Services office, Williams sets the tone, making everyone feel like an equal part of the team, encouraging them to work through issues and move forward.

“It’s creative and evolving and empowering,” Lamberts says. “I’ve had other campus jobs, but this hasn’t been like a campus job. It’s been a hands-on business experience working with real clients.”

Lamberts has also looked to Williams as a role model, encouraging her to think about what she wants in life.

“It helps to have someone who’s professional, who’s had experience, to develop my own skills and life transitioning after
college,” Lamberts says.

“I view my role as a coach,” Williams says. “There’s so much joy in seeing people around you develop, grow and prepare to go forward in life and be successful.”

~ Gary Dulude

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