This past week, I had an amazing opportunity to interview Casey Sanders. She is the VP Site Underwriting Manager at Bank of America, and she also sits on the Board of Directors of Live & Learn. Casey has held many leadership positions and takes on many responsibilities. In our interview, we talked about how she got to where she is today, and why Live & Learn is so important to her.
What motivated you to get involved with Live & Learn?
Being a single mom played a role. My son is 21 years old, and I’ve always been a single mom. When my kid was younger, I definitely struggled financially. It was important to have people willing to help, and now it’s so nice to be on the other side of that. Really being able to see what we can do to help women who are working really hard to help themselves and might just need that little helping hand. When you’re able to listen to Live & Learn women’s stories, it’s heartbreaking. But these women are so driven and motivated to make their lives better, and even though we play a small part in helping their lives- it’s such a cool opportunity. To me, if they can do all the big bits, all this hard work to try and improve their life, then I can do the little bits of being a Board Member.
How did you get involved with Live & Learn?
I am part of the Board of Directors, so I sit on the board. I got involved because of a family friend named Kristin Chatsworth. She is the Executive Director for Live & Learn, and I’ve known her for years. There was a board opening, and she asked if I was interested in joining. I myself am a single mom, and this organization is definitely something that I feel passionate about. I am passionate about helping women. When the opportunity came up, I was eager to join the Board of Directors!
You have had a lot of leadership roles. Which ones really made an impact to help you get to where you are today?
I think the biggest thing for me, when looking at a leadership role, is the people you lead and the organization you’re with. You need to ask yourself what you can learn from the people that you’re working with as well, not just what you can do for them. Also, how can you help them get to that next level in their career? I currently lead leaders and I think that’s a very particular scope of leadership. You’re really trying to help someone learn the value of mentoring and coaching.
Did you always know what you wanted to do with your life? Or did you have other careers you wanted to go into at first?
I wanted to be a doctor until I learned how much school it was! But my family always teased me that I was meant to be a boss since I’m “bossy”. Personally, once I figured out what leadership really meant–how it’s really about coaching and helping others reach their success–that drove me more. I didn’t necessarily dream about going into the mortgage business, but for me it’s more about leading people and helping others be successful.
What would you say are the most important skills someone can bring to a job?
It varies across the situation. I think your ability to have patience and understanding is important. Having a lot of empathy, when you’re having tough conversations with others, is something to consider. You need to have strength and feel strongly and proud for the organization you are working for and what you bring to the table. For me, I’m currently working for Bank of America, and I am very proud of the company I’m working for and I can live with those values that they talk about everyday, and those are very important to me personally.
Any tips on how to succeed in a work environment you don’t feel the most confident in?
Personally, I would say confidence has never been something I’ve struggled with. Though I’ve definitely tried to look for opportunities that are within my comfort zone. One tip I would say is don’t hold yourself back. Allow yourself to stretch in different ways. Don’t overestimate yourself, though I have definitely taken on roles that were a little bit of a stretch! But all I can say is hard work and dedication is a must for everything you do.
Live & Learn Intern
Psychology Major at Arizona State University