For my fifth interview I reached out to Dr. R. and she was able to put me in contact with Erin Starkey. She is the program coordinator for the organization Girls in the Game(www.girlsinthegame.org)
The interview started as many of my previous ones had-- by asking my interviewee to speak a bit about what they currently do. I thought it was so weird that not even a week ago I was online searching through this organization's website and now I was at Starbucks sitting across from someone that actually worked there. We started the interview with her telling me a little bit, about what she currently does but quickly got into the path that led her to where she is. This was my first interview that was face to face and I truly enjoyed it. She was so nice and I cannot believe how similar we are.
Some of the questions I asked her:
Did you know you were going to college?
Yes, she comes from a family of learners.
Was the move difficult from Washington State to Chicago (for school)?
No, she was ready and wanted to move to a city that had more diversity and specifically a bigger African American population.
She did have a mentor as an undergrad that planted the seed of going further with her education.
How did you know that a higher education setting was not where you wanted to be?
Reaching a university/college is a big achievement and she would like to reach out to students at a earlier stage in life. I ask this question because I am in a higher education setting and have been for the last 5 years but know that I too want to help students at earlier stages than entering college. If you have a good foundation, it will be easier for you to succeed.
How do you approach setbacks?
I look to see how things could have been better and usually have a discussion with someone that has called the issue into question. She also reflects on how she can improve for the future.
Are you living your dream?
Yes, I am living part of my dream but I know that I am on the path to reach my full dream.
If you could do anything else, what would it be?
First lady-I’ve never heard anyone say this before(not even a Caucasian person).
, she wants to have an expertise and share it at conferences and among other public venues.
Do you strive for excellence or perfection?
I need to explain this to her because I believe that perfection might be something that I struggle with. She strives for excellence but something that she tries to do often is-- express when she does not know something, or failed at something, made a mistake. That helps to keep you real with yourself but also lets people see that you are human. This is something I struggle with because I truly believe that if someone that needs help should seek help. Unfortunately, I do not hold the same standard for myself.
This reality is what questions what I truly strive for.
A friend recently took the GRE’s and did not get the scores that she had hoped but shared anyway with us that reality. I was in awe because I do not do that when I fall short or make a mistake I am so embarrassed and beat myself up about it until I make another. I am not perfect therefore, I think I do not strive for perfection but maybe deep down I hope that if I was perfect I could be more, live more, breathe more.
What do you know now that you hoped someone had told you earlier in life?
The importance of networking
I really enjoyed our conversation. I left that interview knowing that I was truly a different person having met her. I’m not sure where my life will lead me but I know now that I see the world different. I owe that to her honesty and humanistic approach to sharing her knowledge of life lived.