Career Profile: Yentil Rawlinson - Program Manager

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Name: Yentil Rawlinson

Age: 25

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Undergrad: Ohio state, sociology

Grad school: Indiana Wesley University, masters of science in management

Additional training: Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification (in progress) 


Take me back a decade, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I badly wanted to be a corporate lawyer in high school and college.. until I realized I hated law. Sophomore year of college I stopped focusing on getting into law school and focusing on my major (sociology). I knew I wanted to work to impact the community because I've always wanted my own nonprofit. 

Was it hard for you to give up the dream of becoming a lawyer?

I think overall, yes. There’s still a part of me that still wishes I would of pursued that avenue. Having the self-awareness that it may not be the best position for me was invaluable and saved me from an unfulfilling (and possibly miserable) career. Knowing yourself, knowing your limits, and knowing your passion is so important - and law wasn’t my passion. 

What do you do now?

I work for a large health care organization managing diversity programs and initiatives. A big part of my job is facilitating scholarship and internship programs for minority high school and college students. 

How did you start your career?

I interned the summer after high-school and during my freshman year of college. After undergraduate graduation, I worked for a professional sports team in community relations. On the last day of my internship in sports, the organization reached out to me to return to as an assistant. I was an assistant for 6 months and then I moved into a program coordinator position. Two years later, I moved into a manager role. 

What is lean six sigma?

Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology. Lean is the identification of waste within processes, started by Toyota. Six Sigma is to decrease variation within processes, started by Motorola. Lean 6 sigma is a combination of both of these to improve processes and identify time and cost savings. Green belts lead small improvement projects within organizations. I love efficiency, so I fell in love with the concepts after researching programs. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I’ll be 30!!! (freaks out). I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately since I’ve just completed school. I took time for myself last Sunday to write down my personal and professional aspirations in my goal notebook.

Five years ago, I would have never imagined myself doing what I'm doing now. I thought I would be living in Florida following a totally different path. Five years from now, I hope to direct larger scale projects while continuing to serve my purpose. Overall, my goals are to continue growing, learning, and owning my career.

Tell me about your goal notebook:

I bought one of those really cheesy notebooks that have inspirational quote on the front (“if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”) I wrote the create your board piece in there. I’m looking for an apartment so I have everything I’m using for that process in there (more on that coming soon!). It allows me to collect information in one place to figure out this thing called life.

What advice do you have to give?

  1. Make sure that you elect the right people to your board.

  2. Work hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it.