Meet Gwendolyn Phillips. Before becoming a Rung member, she worked for the Department of Social Services for over 25 years, retiring as a Quality Assurance Manager in 2019. After a few years, Gwendolyn decided that she wanted to do something for herself and applied to become a member of Rung.
Learn more about Gwendolyn and why she is one to watch in the geospatial landscape.
On what made her want to become a Rung member
I live in the neighborhood, and I watched as the building was under construction. I would purposefully drive by to check on its progress, simply out of curiosity. I saw and article on the local news where President Leslie Gill was highlighting the Rung for Women program, laying out the plans in place for women with a desire to better position themselves for success. I could absolutely identify with everything Leslie spoke of because I had personally experienced so many of those barriers, but I was forced to struggle through without that much needed support. I remembered thinking what a phenomenal movement.
I was so intrigued by what I’d heard. I knew I wanted an opportunity to reinvest in myself by sharpening my professional skillset, break down those barriers and just become a better me!
On what she found most rewarding about her experience at Rung
I found encouragement and grace and camaraderie. What I found most rewarding was all the support I received from day one! It was immediately clear to me this program was designed to encourage me to look deep within myself, face my fears, overcome my barriers, and focus on me. Rung provided me with the tools I needed to accomplish my goals. This included one-on-one coaching, both personal and career based, group support, a check on my financial, physical, and mental wellness, soft skills training, Professional Power Skills, resume writing and mock interview exercises. The meals are prepared by an onsite chef as well as meal prep demonstrations where healthy recipes are shared–I even worked in the garden where the produce grown is used to prepare the meals.
On being a part of Rung’s Women in Geospatial program
After researching several potential career areas of interest, the geospatial program is the one that piqued my interest the most. Being a part of the geospatial program was both rewarding and challenging but it was the path I chose. I wanted to learn something new because I wanted to be a part of a field that is wide open for women here in the St. Louis area.
On how Rung has helped her with her career in geospatial
Aside from making the geospatial course available to me free of charge, along with study group sessions with support staff for myself and my classmates, Rung supported me in preparing my resume. They created those networking opportunities with potential employers in the geospatial industry. One of those connections yielded me my very first position as a Geospatial Information Systems Technician with an amazing company called Infopacity LLC. I couldn’t be happier!
On what would you say to a woman who wants to join Rung as a member?
I would tell future members to take full advantage of all the services Rung has to offer. Come in with an open mind, you’re in a safe space. Afford yourself grace, put in the work and you will be glad you did! It will be a positive, life-changing experience.
On where she sees herself in the next five years
I see myself continuing my work in the geospatial industry in an even more skilled capacity, the sky’s the limit.
I have a newfound appreciation for the geospatial industry. It is multi-faceted in that it is vital to our everyday life; in ways I’d never imagined. What I like most is I am able to learn and grow in a profession that’s wide open and full of new, challenging and exciting opportunities.
Gwendolyn’s hard work and dedication to her career change have set the stage for a thriving future in the growing geospatial industry. We are looking forward to seeing what she does next.
Are you interested in learning more about our next cohort? Click HERE to start your Rung journey.