Thursday, June 29, 2017
Category: Students and Alumni
Heather Thomas ‘11
Pursuing workplace happiness
By: Livia Ungurean
As a communication graduate, Heather Thomas ’11 entered the work field prepared to take on whatever opportunity that came her way.
During her time at Messiah College, she appreciated the individual support and attention she received to help her develop professionally and personally. Thomas took advantage of internship opportunities every semester and sought out one-on-one coaching from her professors.
Thanks to her hard work, Thomas’s post-grad life has been extremely rewarding. After graduation, she was quickly hired to work alongside former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. She credits her experience with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Messiah College study abroad program based in Washington, D.C., for allowing her to expand her worldview and gain experiences that helped her excel in her career. She even had the opportunity to attend the President’s State of the Union address alongside his cabinet, members of the House, Senate and Supreme Court.
In 2015, Thomas began a new role—and in a not-so-typical position. As the Happiness Manager for WebpageFX (named the Best Place to Work in PA in 2015 and 2016), she had the unique—and fun!—responsibility of making the company an even better place to work. Her responsibilities include managing budgets allocated for team happiness; organizing and running monthly WebpageFX events such as happy hours, sushi making classes, and baseball games; running an intramural sports team; coaching employees; managing family member’s programs and perks; and more.
She even uses her creative side to develop her own programs and ideas to make WebpageFX a great place to work. But it isn’t just about having fun. Thomas coordinates opportunities to give back, both locally and globally through active community involvement and a charity-match program.
Thomas hones her communication skills throughout her workday. From planning spontaneous surprises to developing wellness programs and learning initiatives, she uses her interpersonal skills to manage an extensive amount of responsibilities, all while maintaining workplace happiness and morale.
As she mentors new employees in her workplace, she recognized the importance of having a mentor. “Every single one of my professors in the communication department [at Messiah] provided exceptional guidance,” she says. “I learned so much from reaching out to them for advice. They’ve been there and they’ve heard and seen it all, so they have a vast amount of wisdom that can prove to be extremely helpful.”
She also advises current students to take advantage of Messiah’s Career and Professional Development Center. “There is an entire team of people ready and waiting to help you plan for your future. Have them review your resume, do an informational interview with them, and attend their career fairs! You’ll thank yourself later when you’re applying to jobs,” Thomas says. “I actually wish I would have utilized their resources more, as I’ve learned since graduating that most other colleges do not offer the level of personalized support and care that Messiah does through the Career Center!”
Fun Fact: “I met Stephen Colbert after I caught him sliding down the banister outside of my office.”
Thomas attributes Messiah College with helping her get to where she is today. “Overall, I think the holistic learning and character development experience that I received from Messiah College shaped me to be the person that I am today,” she says. “I’ve also been impressed at the reputation that Messiah has within the professional world. My ties to Messiah proved to be an asset, as the emphasis on character, service, academic excellence and faith are valuable traits that make for a stronger all around individual.”