Get to Know the People Science Team: Stephanie Downey
Title: People Science Consultant
Residence: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Home town: Atlanta, Georgia
Most people describe their careers as a series of serendipitous twists and turns rather than as a mapped-out journey. For Stephanie Downey, it has been a perfect combination of the two.
When she discovered in high school that she could study people for a living, she made a plan to earn a PhD in industrial organizational psychology. A series of jobs in consulting and talent development then led her to Glint.
“I’ve always been a curious observer of people,” Stephanie says. “When I learned there was a job that actually allowed me to systematically study this, I was hooked.”
Calling upon her empathy and passion for employee engagement, Stephanie looks forward to working every day to help people be happier and more successful.
Learn more about Stephanie’s work and life.
How did you get to Glint? Prior to joining Glint, I worked as an internal consultant. What was great about this experience is that I was able to support and lead a wide variety of projects across the Talent Development space. Even though I loved and craved the variety, I was always most passionate about my work in employee engagement. When I was ready to make a move, I pursued a role at Glint because I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I feel lucky every day that Glint felt the same way.
What’s your specialty on the People Science Team? I’m a Senior People Science Consultant on our North America Team. Because of my prior internal experience with employee engagement programs, I have a lot of empathy for the customer. I understand the types of internal conversations that need to happen in order for programs to be a true success. Leading with this empathy, I guide my customers to push themselves and “go for it” as they strive for more agility and continuous conversations in their organizations.
What got you interested in People Science? The short answer is “people.” I’ve always been a curious observer of people: how their personal experiences have shaped them, what makes them tick, what brings them joy, and what motivates them.
What’s your motivation for doing what you do? I feel like this is the one career and organization where I can truly have an impact and help shape the experiences of people at work, and more broadly in their lives. Who wouldn’t want to seize the opportunity to help make people happier and more successful?
Any career goals you’re working toward? No matter where my career takes me, I just want the ability to make a positive impact on people’s lives at work. Luckily for me, I’m fortunate enough to work for an organization that actually helps me fulfill this career goal today, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
What has been a big learning moment in your career? My biggest learning moment is tied to my favorite quote by T.S. Eliot, “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” Soon after I started my first official job out of graduate school, my manager left the organization for a new opportunity. She suggested that I take the lead on a major project she had just kicked off. It was my first opportunity to take on a “stretch assignment,” and although it felt like I was in over my head on many occasions throughout the project, this experience really helped push me to new heights in my capabilities and career. From that point on, I’ve tried to never underestimate myself (even though it’s hard sometimes), and I strive to always be a little uncomfortable at work because that means I’m learning and growing.
What’s your top tip? Use your super power of learning and push yourself to try things that feel difficult or uncomfortable. And don’t forget to seek advice and connection along the way because we can all use a little help sometimes.
Where are you from? I am a military brat but mostly grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. I currently live in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and am now a military spouse.
What was your first job? I was a summer pool lifeguard. Yes, they trusted a 15-year-old to do that job. It was so boring and hot. I absolutely hated it.
How many cups of coffee do you drink per day? It used to be two or three, but I’ve been working hard to get it to one cup a day so I have better quality sleep. I’m VERY picky about my one cup though—it must be delicious. At home I drink a double latte with steamed half-and-half every morning.
What do you like to do outside of work? Honestly, I’m not great at many things, but I do love to learn and try new things. This year I’ve been re-learning how to play the violin, and learning the art of baking bread and how to throw pottery. My husband and I love to get outside and explore with our two huge dogs. I also love to cook, but mostly because I love to eat.