Husky Hired: Sarah Carr

Where are they now?


sarah carr

Sarah Carr says she has fond memories of “those HFS days” when she worked at the front desk at residence halls during the academic school year, as a Conferences host during the summer, and in the mail room. She wore a lot of hats. From the front desk she answered an abundance of questions from the res hall students, helped them when they locked themselves out of their room, and kept parents calm(er) during check-in. For Conferences, Sarah became a pro at orienting attendees new to the campus and city and offering useful advice on parking. Her favorite part of working at HFS was “giving tours and sharing more about the rooms and the experience of living on campus.”  

In addition to having received a paycheck, Sarah notes she has been able to apply skills learned at HFS to her post-college jobs. Running operations on a large scale (Think turning over an entire res hall in one day), juggling multiple and sometimes unexpected tasks, and working independently all contributed to her skill set and confidence levels.  

There was another bonus: Taking on responsibility. “Working at the front desk put me in a position to be the face of the group,” Sarah remembers.  “That meant dealing with people who were excited and people who were having pretty rotten days and were very upset.” To do so required sensitivity about and awareness of, for example, what a parent dropping off a son or daughter is going through during that stressful time. Sarah discovered that approaching people “with curiosity and the intent to understand them results in a much better outcome than using judgment.” 

Since graduation, Sarah has spent the last eight years at Google in different roles, most of them related to education and learning. Along the way, she’s had the opportunity to manage, design and facilitate a broad variety of programs and classes. These days she is doing internal team and organizational consulting as well as leadership coaching for Google engineering leaders and managers.  

Many of the things Sarah learned and mastered at HFS have translated to her career at Google. “One of our cultural values is scrappiness and flexibility,” she says. “You’re often given difficult problems to solve that don’t necessarily have any clear answer. At HFS, there was a sense that whoever was available would pitch in to help with whatever task was at hand. Likewise at Google, you don’t hear people commenting, ‘That’s not my job.’ Instead, we flex to the situation and find a creative solution so we can move forward quickly.” 

Sarah believes learning to work with a wide variety of people as a desk host was great preparation for moving into a diverse, multi-national company. “I don’t know many people who enjoy conflict, but working at HFS taught me how to manage my emotions and behavior,” she notes.  Using that skill has translated into a high level of comfort with discomfort and the ability to help teams move through conflict more easily. 
Overall, Sarah feels that working at HFS allowed her to develop personally and professionally and provided her with opportunities that would help her grow her career goals. (Plus, she had fun!) “There was always a lot of work to accomplish, but we were able to do it while connecting with one another and our customers,” Sarah remembers.  “Whenever I donned that purple polar fleece vest (Do they still have those?) or pinned my name badge on my summer conference shirt, I knew it was going to be a good day.”  

 

Then:

  • Desk Host, 2003-2006  
Now:
  • Team + Org Consultant/Coach at Google

Degree:

  • B.A. in Journalism and English Lit (2006)
  • M.Ed. in Educational Psychology (2012)