Stephanie Bridges is a Data Management Specialist at Vizient, Inc., and a member of the Black Star Project’s Emerging Young Leaders Board. She received a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from Grand Valley State University and is currently pursuing a MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. Follow her on Instagram @esembreezy
Tell me a little bit about your current career and what your future ambitions are?
Currently I work for Vizient, Inc. as a Data Management specialist monitoring data intake and developing reports and benchmarks for academic medical center’s physician offices. In the new year I’ll be moving into my new role as a Senior Staff Associate (they haven’t finished the title yet) so I’m really excited about that and appreciative that I work for a company that encourages growth. I’m not the type to try to be a CEO to over 5,000 people; not my cup of tea. But my future endeavors include immersing myself in business intelligence and analytics to eventually encourage young and adolescent girls to consider this field of work. This is one of the fastest growing areas and I think I would make a much bigger impact encouraging girls to challenge the norm. There’s such a lack of representation in this field and girls need to know it’s not a man’s world and they don’t have to be afraid of this career path if it’s something they want.
What sparked your passions?
My future. I want to be able to look back on my life 50 years down the road and know something I did impacted something or someone, even in the smallest form. Sometimes the small things matter most.
What are some challenges you have faced in your professional life?
Getting to a career where there was an actual path and not a brick wall, and finding a career that appreciated my diversity and intelligence rather than suppressed it. Sometimes we have to take jobs because we “gotta do what we gotta do” but eventually you grow weary of that and want a career where you’re challenged, appreciated, and encouraged. And sometimes, it takes a LONG time to find it and a lot of frustrated days. But I believe if you keep truly trying and keep educating yourself, it will find you.
What do you want people to know about you?
I love to laugh. And I love trying new things.
What makes you an Emerging Black Star in the Chicago community?
(This was hard). I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. But I have a willingness in my heart to help others, not for recognition or praise but for the smile on someone’s face at the end of the day. Wanting to see happiness in other people is selfless and in today’s society, we have too many selFISH people and not enough selfLESS people. It doesn’t make me better but I believe it makes me different.
What are three words that describe you?
Humble. Appreciative. Energetic.
How can people work with you?
I’d like to say I’m very easy to work with. I’m always willing to help, and extremely open to constructive criticism. I believe if it’s not hurtful, it’s helpful. As long as there’s a clear path of communication and effort, there isn’t anything we can’t get done. I can be reached at email@example.com
What words of wisdom do you have for boys and girls who may want to follow in your path?
Make the mistakes. Get stuck in a rut. It’s even OK to cry. But always ALWAYS find the drive to pick yourself back up and continue working toward your goals. You’ll look back and realize all those frustrated nights were worth it.