Tri-County Success Story: Trish Seibel DeVore
What can Trish Seibel DeVore teach us about success? No matter what the circumstances, there is always a way to move ahead.
Trish maintains her beliefs were learned largely from the world around her – her mom, a single-parent, her older brother, and the people of the Tri-County Scholarship Fund. Trish said her mother was convinced that since she was a single parent, her two children would do better in the small family oriented environment of a value-centered parochial school, however she did not have the financial means to afford this type of education. Mrs. Siebel went to St. Patrick Elementary School to ask for financial help to enroll Trish and her brother in school. The school told her about the Tri-County Scholarship Fund and suggested she apply for aid. Trish recalls that it was a happy day for the family when the letter arrived telling them that they would receive a scholarship award to attend St. Patrick. Fortunately for Trish, she and her brother continued to qualify for tuition aid from mid-grammar school through high school.
Today, at 29 years old, Trish has garnered a Masters Degree in Industrial Psychology and an MBA from Seton Hall University. She recalls exploring her career options during her junior year at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “I ran through the job possibilities, and my career counselor suggested a unique masters program, the Higher Education Partnership, which, combined with my four years of undergraduate studies would give me an MA in Industrial Psychology after a total of five years in school. That fifth year was the best of my life. I would leave the house at 7 A.M. and not return until 11 P.M. I was always so busy, and I loved it!” she recalls with a gleam in her eye.
To supplement her fifth year of tuition, Trish worked as a Nanny and a graduate assistant. During her last semester in school she interned with Lucent Technologies and was offered a job upon graduation. She spent two and a half years there and when Avaya was spun off from Lucent she decided to make the change and move with the newly created company. That was three years ago. Today, she is a Senior Manager of Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership Rotation Programs – a job that has three bosses and two distinct job responsibilities.
Some might be overwhelmed by the day-to-day rigor of such responsibility, but, says Trish, “I love the diversity of it. I go into my office and I say, okay, what job will I do today? The Human Resources department is not just about personnel issues of hiring and benefits. They are a value-added business partner and Avaya’s head team leader is an advisor to the CEO. It’s an exciting time to be in HR.”
Her Organizational Effectiveness “hat” requires her to analyze job hiring and skill gaps and the Leadership Rotation Program includes supervising and coordinating the rotation of MBA’s, from schools such as Wharton and Duke, throughout the company.
She says of her own MBA experience that while it was very humbling, it rounded her out for her work in the human resources field.
When she’s not heading off to work or school, Trish serves as an Advisor to the collegiate chapter of her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, volunteers for the Susan B. Kolman Breast Cancer Foundation, and prior to starting on her MBA she was a Big Sister to a little girl named Ashley. Although Ashley relocated to Atlanta the two remain in touch. Trish’s experience in the Big Brother Big Sister Program began early in her childhood when her mother reached out to the Program to seek mentors for she and her brother. Trish’s Big Sister, Leslie, now lives in Richmond, Virginia. Trish recalls how important Leslie’s being there was for her and how her helpful advice and presence through the tough times were a true gift. The two continue to stay in touch across the miles.
Now that she has completed her MBA, Trish is interested in becoming a Big Sister again, and is encouraging her husband, Jim, to join her as a Big Brother. Married just two years ago, and living in Madison, NJ- both she and her husband enjoy hiking, fishing and the outdoors.