Cailie Burns '07

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    2007

    Current job title and employer and briefly describe what it is you do: Professionally, I’m a non-profit development professional with broad experience in fundraising, team and project management, donor acquisition/cultivation/stewardship, corporate sponsorship strategy and execution, event planning and management, and peer-to-peer fundraising in healthcare and higher education. I am highly skilled in relationship management, strategic analysis, development and implementation of fundraising goals and plans across dynamic, national markets. Personally, I enjoy time spent with my partner (also a Saint Mike’s alum) and our cat at home or traveling (at least during non-COVID times) and seeing my incredible family. I always take the opportunity to explore off-the-beaten paths both locally and globally. I love good coffee, reading (I’m a loyal NYPL supporter), and great music!

    Academic experience at Saint Michael's College help prepare you for your career: I studied Political Science and Religious Studies. My experience at Saint Michael’s was wonderful. From the first day on campus, I knew my decision to make my way to Vermont for college was the right one. The academic environment allowed me to explore my interests and determine the path I wanted to follow versus remaining on the academic track I initially thought I should. As a student-athlete, I was fortunate to meet some truly wonderful women even before classes began and they remain friends to this day. And as a student-volunteer, I had the opportunity to commit to a life of service that has shaped my values — both personally and professionally — to this day.

    What advice would you give to woman or women-identifying students: Use your experiences to help shape and understand the difference between what your skills are, what drives you, and what you love to do. Be passionate about what you chose to do in your career—and be open-minded to making changes that are right for you. Focus on your purpose!

    What are some strategies that can help woman or women-identifying people achieve a more prominent role in their organizations: Know your values and make decisions in all areas of your life (business, family, and self) based on those values. Don’t strive for perfection. Be open to making mistakes, but make sure you learn from them. Stay curious and willing to learn, but don’t overcommit. You want to make sure people know they can rely on you — this will help build trust and develop respect. Learn when to speak up and don’t be afraid to share our opinions, this will help you move from contributor to leader. Ask yourself “why am I talking?” OR “why aren’t I talking?”

    What keeps you motivated and driven on a daily basis: I love my job and the impact I am helping make on a future generation of physician leaders. It is easy to be driven when you are driven by your passion and your values. I’m truly fortunate to have found a place/career in which I’m encouraged and inspired by others daily, and I know I have the ability to do the same for others. I’m in a leadership position, a position where others rely on me, a position with immense responsibility and one with a lot of demands but my personal values align with the institution’s and it makes even the longest weeks worth it!

    What woman most inspires you and why: Ugh, there are so many — too many! I recently attended a lecture given by journalist Yamiche Alcindor and I was inspired by her resolve and steady sense of purpose. Aren’t we lucky to live in a world where we’re inspired by womxn each and every day?!