Career Day Inspires Words of Wisdom from Alumnae

“Everyone you work with is a person, and if you can connect with them on a human level you can go a lot farther than powerpoint slides can take you.”

— Caroline Tanner Everett '07

On Zoom screens across the country, 50 Harpeth Hall alumnae gathered virtually to speak to Upper School students about their transition from Harpeth Hall to college, the journey through their career path, and the many lessons they have learned along the way.

Students joined panels ranging from “Do you enjoy solving problems?” to “Do you enjoy leading others?” based on their interests, skills, and talents. Each panel gave students the chance to have meaningful conversations in a small-group setting with alumnae from a variety of professional backgrounds. 

With engaging personal experiences and helpful advice, our alumnae highlighted a future of opportunities for our students. Here are some of their words of wisdom.

"An answer we give all the time is 'I don’t know, let me do some research, and I will get back to you.' Finding the answer is part of the job. Finding the solution is why I am hired.”

— Abby Spaulding ‘03, financial planner

“It’s just really important to have a good working relationship.”

— Marla Mazer ‘96, collegiate global experience advisor

“Being told to 'be yourself' can seem so trite, but it is absolutely true. I do a man’s job. Women were not allowed to do what I do until the 80s. I am only in the second generation of women who are able to do what I do. I find myself often bound and determined to prove people wrong, but that is a really easy way to get exhausted and burnt out. You have to take care of yourself.”

— Claire Berry ’05, associate pastor

“I firmly believe that if you do what you love and tap into your gifts it will take you where you need to be. Some of us are drawn to academia, some of us are drawn to art … Tuning into your purpose is the work.”

— Sarah Scarborough ’93, entrepreneur

“Being in a leadership role as a black woman and on a team with other leaders of color, I am a mirror to my students. It is exciting for me to be a part of that group, which is something that many students had not seen before.”

— Tobi Lee Erwin ’08, dean of students

“My experiences outside of the general college curriculum opened up my world. I was allowed to dive into opportunities that were not in the rooms on campus. It diversified my learning.”

— Catherine Workman ‘97, senior director of science

“Having good communication skills and also humility in whatever career you choose is going to help you be a really good problem solver.”

— Glory Beveridge '08, physician

Many thanks to all of our fantastic alumnae who were able to join us today virtually!

Do you enjoy helping or assisting others?

  • Eva Rawlings Parker ’93, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Lisa Meyer Holzapfel ’81, Program Director, Pearl Haven TN
  • Stella Taylor Bergan ’84, Health and Human Performance Coach, StellaFit
  • Elle Worsham ’05, Owner + CEO, Gracious Garlands and Beyond Your Type

Do you enjoy solving problems?

  • Glory Beveridge ’08, Resident Physician, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
  • Erin Lehner Mello ’00, Senior Product Manager, GridPoint, Inc.
  • Elaine Sulc ’11, Lead Software Engineer, Tableau
  • Abby Sinks Spaulding ’03, Owner and Financial Planner, Continuum Planning Partners

Do you enjoy creating things?

  • Ellen Fuson ’02, Architect, HASTINGS ARCHITECTURE
  • Mary Stengel Bentley ’03, Artist, Mary Stengel Bentley
  • Cate Connery Bury ’99, Owner and Photographer, Cate Connery Bury Photography
  • Margaret Waltemath Ash ’03, Principal Designer and Owner, Margaret Ash Design & Home
  • Vanessa Jones Cowley ’99, Development Officer and Artist, Irish Museum of Modern Art

Do you enjoy conveying information to others?

  • Marla Mazer ’96, Global Experience Advisor, Centennial College
  • Caroline Hallemann ’07, Digital News Director, Town & Country Magazine with Hearst Corporation
  • Sarah Riley Saint ’12, Epidemiologist, Tennessee Department of Health
  • Caroline Tanner Everett ’07, Vice President/Director of Corporate Responsibility, AllianceBernstein

Do you enjoy analyzing people or things?

  • Addie Boston Askew ’07, Assistant District Attorney, Davidson County Office of the District Attorney
  • Catherine Ramsey Schulte ’08, Director, Senior Research Analyst, Baird
  • Katie Fredericks Wild ’06, Vice President of Marketing, Transportation Insight
  • Elizabeth Conrad ’04, Medical Information & Pharmacovigilance Specialist, Cumberland Pharmaceuticals

Do you enjoy the outdoors and the environment?

  • Sarah Scarborough ’93, Founder and Owner, Tea Huntress
  • Crispin Davis Menefee ’94, Owner, Ironhorse Farms, LLC, Rumors Pulaski, LLC, and The Clayton Potter Foundation
  • Brianna Bjordahl ’15, Conservation Technician, Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy
  • Catherine Workman ’97, Senior Director, Science, National Geographic Society

Do you enjoy leading others?

  • Claire Berry ’05, Associate Pastor, Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church
  • Crissy Wieck ’96, Chief Sales Officer and Minority Owner, Western Express
  • Tobi Lee Erwin ’08, Dean of Students & Culture, KIPP Charlotte Public Schools

Do you enjoy training and managing others?

  • Dwyla Beard ’98, Director of Human Resources, The Harpeth Hall School
  • Holly Whetsell Coltea ’94, Owner and Instructor, barre3 Nashville
  • Emily McAlister Frith ’75, Co-Owner, The Corner Market Catering Company

Do you enjoy connecting people with one another?

  • Sally Anne Harrell ’07, Director of Global Shared Trade, Thistle Farms
  • Lacy Jamison Nelson ’76, Senior Associate Director and Career Coach, Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management
  • Julie Hartzog Garcia ’89, Director of Pediatric Social Work, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Do you enjoy helping and working with children and families?

  • Catherine Mayes Knowles ’88, Homeless Education Program Coordinator, Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Hannah Reed ’02, Medical Director, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Pediatric Psychiatry Clinic
  • Leanne Little West ’87, Chief Engineer of Pediatric Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, President, International Children's Advisory Network (iCAN)
  • Ann Ezzell Williford ’01, Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Ascension Saint Thomas/University of Tennessee

Do you enjoy organizing people or things?

  • Hannah Claybrook Gibbs ’10, COVID-19 Task Force Commander, Tennessee Army National Guard
  • Ellie Hitt ’13, Executive Coordinator, Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center
  • Pauline Lewis ’03, Research Librarian, Stanford University Library
  • Julia Sturgeon ’09, Senior Biostatistician, Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.

Do you enjoy thinking outside the box?

  • Shelby Potter ’15, Range Safety Officer, Department of Defense, Air Force
  • Kate Sherrard Chinn ’93, Global Head, Community and Civic Engagement, AllianceBernstein
  • Xinrui (Tina) Qian ’12, Trading Associate, Bridgewater Associates
  • Margaret Riley King ’03, Partner and Literary Agent, WME

Do you enjoy creating change?

  • Cari Johns Isham ’03, National Director of Development, 50CAN
  • Kendra Abkowitz Brooks ’03, Director of Policy and Sustainable Practices, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices
  • Megan Youngblood ’98, Associate Vice President, Vanderbilt Health Services, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Reid Patton ’14, Product Manager, Facebook