College of Public Health
Q. Describe your career path that has led to your current post.
A. My career path was certainly not a straight shot. After undergrad, I floated from job to job only staying about two years at each one. I was resigned to the fact that this was going to be my reality — work was bearable but not very interesting or engaging. I felt the need to do something meaningful so I started volunteering with Columbus AIDS Task Force (now Equitas Health) during the early days of the AIDS epidemic. There, I found purpose, passion and valuable relationships. I segued into the field of public health in my early thirties and have been there ever since.
Q. How would you describe your leadership style?
A. I would characterize my leadership style as participatory. Gathering input from constituents and community members is essential in public health.
Q. What were the best career investments you've made along the way?
A. Definitely, my best career investment was graduate school. I was looking to expand my knowledge base, but I received so much more. The opportunities at Ohio State are limitless, and I feel so much gratitude for the students, faculty and staff I have had the privilege to meet over the years.
Q. Any mentors or champions who supported your professional development?
A. Too many to mention! The right people seem to come in my life at the right moment, and I hope that is reciprocal!
Q. How would you describe your career goals today? How have they changed over time?
A. As of today, I am 64 days away from retirement and definitely not planning a second career. However, I will be doing some part time work and volunteering and maybe taking advantage of the Program 60 offerings.
Q. What kinds of challenges have you faced along the way, and how did you overcome them?
A. My biggest challenges were self-imposed — lack of self-confidence, striving for perfection and trying to do too much. This is not sustainable. I would tell my younger self that I deserve the same kind of treatment and advice that I would give to a cherished friend. Most women would never talk to a friend the way they talk to themselves!
Q. When you think about serving in a leadership role as a female, do any unique experiences come to mind?
A. For a few years, I was director of a community coalition. I was unprepared for the amount of oversight, conflict and coordination that came with the job. That experience was so valuable and ultimately rewarding. It helped me learn to function in an uncertain environment and be satisfied with incremental progress.
Q. What advice would you give to other women looking to reach similar goals?
A. There are opportunities, large and small, that happen every day. Pay attention. Show up. Spend time with people who care for you and have your best interests at heart.
Q. What's next for you? Something you're looking forward to.
A. I've never been retired before, so I'm looking forward to what is in store for me.
Learn more about Randi and her career path in her Buckeye Voices article.
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