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Volunteer Spotlight: No Longer a Square Peg in a Round Hole

Kaleigh Emerson 10PH contributes time and talent to increasing exposure and opportunity for the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter.

By Michelle Valigursky

Kaleigh Emerson 10PH

EmoryWire is pleased to highlight outstanding alumni volunteers around the world who share their time and talent to make our Emory alumni chapters so successful. Enjoy this Spotlight on Kaleigh Emerson 10PH, vice president and communications for the Dallas Alumni Chapter.

Describe your current chapter position and one major lesson you have learned since assuming your role.
I serve as Vice President and Communications for the Dallas Fort Worth Chapter of Emory Alumni. We have a really awesome chapter and I've met several of my close friends through the alumni group.

Best career advice you've ever received?
"You are a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. You're trying so hard, but you don't have to do that." I was in my first "real" (full time) job post-grad school. The job dealt more with law and finance than health, but it was stable, the hours were normal, the pay was decent, and I really, really wanted to be content with this.

However, as years passed, I grew more and more restless. I felt guilty for feeling unfulfilled and had tried very hard to find the positive aspects of the job. One afternoon, the Chief Medical Officer (who was not a direct supervisor) stopped by my desk and asked me how things were going. Trying to be positive, I told her they were going pretty well. I must not have been very convincing because she offered the aforementioned advice. She encouraged me not to settle for just stability, but to seek work in which I can be fully engaged. She gave me permission to want more from my career.

How did your Emory education affect your career choices?
I chose Emory for graduate school because of the quality of life it offered seemed far superior to any of the other options (and its Global Health reputation was good, too). I attended a visit day and instantly connected with a few other visitors, several of whom are my best friends today.

Dallas Chapter of Emory Alumni

Dallas Chapter of Emory Alumni during Emory Cares.

As I attended information sessions and Convos on Tap (the social hour at RSPH), I realized I wanted to be friends with these new people and have dinner with them and learn from and with them. I had found my people. Emory is where I began to realize that having respectful and intellectually curious colleagues will be very important for my job satisfaction. This is now a major consideration in all of my career decisions.

Editor’s Note:

The Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of Emory Alumni includes 1,528 active alumni. To visit the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter page click here (login required).

Chapter Contact: Amanda Brown 08C.

For more updates join the Dallas/Fort Worth groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow #emorydal.