Meghan Reed, ABA ’10, BBA ’12, MM ’16, has not only been recognized as a leader at ITS Partners, LLC in her Director of Operations role but has also been named in the class roster on the Grand Rapids Chamber’s 2020 Leadership Grand Rapids Class, a nine-month program focusing on community leadership. We asked Meghan about how she prepared for and landed her position at ITS and what advice she would give 2020 graduates entering the workforce today.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of working for ITS Partners?
I’ve never had a dream job or dream title in mind, I just always knew I wanted to work in a place where I felt like I belonged. ITS Partners is that place for me. Our core values are Value Trust First, Work and Life in Balance, and Driven to be a Better Version of Ourselves. These values were born the way all core values should be born; we looked at the culture we already built and found them living in it. We truly live and breathe these values every day, whether it be having those difficult yet immeasurable conversations with our teammates to build or rebuild trust, giving employees a random Friday afternoon off to enjoy time with family, or creating opportunities within our company. We treat each other as human beings rather than employees, we work hard and play hard together, and if you ever tour our office in Ada, MI, or catch a Zoom meeting our culture is palpable.
Have there been some innovative projects or initiatives you’ve been a part of in your job?
Where do I begin?! ITS Partners has created countless opportunities through innovation for me to grow and become my best self. I started at ITS as an inside sales associate. After working closely with our CEO, Fritz Byam, we quickly learned how much I enjoy process improvement. I have since moved under the leadership of Troy Whittaker, our COO, and held various roles in our organization. Throughout each role, I have been challenged to implement new tools such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Professional Services Automation (PSA). I have been allowed to complete these initiatives with almost complete autonomy because our leaders trust their team members.
What prepared you most for this job?
So many things! Jim Gort, Associate Professor at DU was a professor of mine during my 2nd semester freshman year, and he has been my mentor ever since. He’s still the first person I call (besides my parents and husband) for job advice – he even convinced me to come back to DU to get my Masters in Management. Working in Career Services while a student at DU was also incredibly beneficial. In 2010 I joined the China Study Abroad Program, and one lesson it taught me was to be ready for anything. My current boss Troy Whittaker, COO has also played a pivotal role. I can always trust him to give me hard feedback as well as opportunities to grow from, to allow me to fail and therefore learn, and to see and leverage the superpowers I didn’t even know I had.
What piece of advice would you give a 2020 graduate who is entering the workforce today?
Stay in touch with professors and mentors who have influenced you and if you don’t have any, find them – I wouldn’t be anywhere without mine. Be patient in finding the right job. I worked 4 jobs in college (simultaneously), and 2 jobs after I graduated before I found ITS. While the first jobs I found out of college did not end up being right for me, I still put in my time, paid my dues, networked, and learned everything I could so that I would be ready for the right one. Be intentional about every opportunity you are handed, especially the ones that may not present themselves as opportunities right away – because every experience can help you grow and learn if your eyes are open to it.