A job promotion gave Heather D’Arcy more responsibilities and a leadership role. To help her succeed in her new position, she knew she needed the right training to effectively run a department and manage a team.
The UVM alumna, who graduated with a degree in animal sciences in 2008, is program operations director at EnSave, Inc., an agricultural energy-efficiency company in Richmond, Vermont, that helps clients from around the country. Her job responsibilities as director include overseeing successful delivery of EnSave’s programs, monitoring and tracking each program’s goals and deliverables, supervising front-line program managers, and developing strategies for improvement.
Last fall, Heather enrolled in UVM’s Leadership and Management Professional Certificate Program, which helped her navigate her role as a director. We talked to Heather about what makes a good leader and lessons learned in her career.
Why did you choose to enroll in the Leadership and Management Program?
I enrolled because I was promoted fairly quickly first to manager and then to director with no leadership or management education. I requested additional training from the owners of EnSave so that I could better perform my duties and run a successful department.
In your opinion, what are some qualities that make a successful manager?
The ability to see the big picture and understand how small decisions affect the big picture. Also knowing how to keep track of your own tasks and the tasks you’ve assigned to others, and how to provide feedback in a positive way so that employees understand what they’re doing well and what they can improve upon.
Can you share some lessons you’ve learned in your career?
You will not get your dream job right out of school or probably even several years out of school. But you should think about what you need to get that dream job and look for positions where you can develop skills and build experience.
You’re also not going to get paid the big bucks in your first few jobs. It takes time to gain the knowledge and experience required to earn a higher salary.
Also, appreciate the small victories, seek constructive criticism, work to improve your skills, and make sure you enjoy the people you work with.
Why would you recommend the Leadership and Management program?
The program provides a diverse learning experience. There are many different lecturers, which is extremely beneficial because there is an expert in each seminar and you can hear a variety of opinions. Particularly if you haven’t taken other leadership courses, the UVM program offers information you can use to enhance your management skills.
Learn more about the UVM Leadership and Management Professional Certificate Program.