Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Remembering a Friend: Nancy Tibbitts

Last month I attended the UC Davis Internship and Career Fair, an event I have participated in for many years. I missed a familiar face, and was very sad to hear that one of the career center staff, Nancy Tibbitts, a friend and mentor of mine, had passed away late last year. This revelation rocked me to the core. This woman had been so helpful in my career; helping me get my first on-campus research job, guiding me in my first few job decisions, suggesting career moves when I was relocating, and then as a colleague during my years in recruiting. I often called her to let her know about new positions I was recruiting for, and asked her to spread the word during a search.

Not only did Nancy assist me in my professional life, but we both shared stories about being working mothers of young children--from finding time to balance the needs of work with the real life needs of a crying, hungry baby or the juggling required of an active family. It was refreshing to check in with her, first to find out how she and the family was doing, and then to get to work on something I was needing her assistance with.

It is very sad for me that she passed away. I know I was only one of many people she helped, and in my mind she was and is indispensable. She was always happy and fun to deal with. I remember her telling me, "oh you have to take that job" and "of course you need to sign-up for an internship". Luckily I followed her advice which I often echo back to young, soon-to-graduate and recent-graduates who are figuring out their career path.

I have had a lot of great mentors in my life, and I truly count Nancy Tibbitts as one of them. I will always think of her fondly, and hope to help others in their careers like she helped me.

For others who worked with Nancy, visit her guest book on the UCD site. I send my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.

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