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Kristy Giandomenico, Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.

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Kristy Giandomenico
Job Title and Organization: Programs Assistant, Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.
Date started in current role: May 23, 2016
T: (412) 322-1825
E: kristy@lpinc.org
W: www.lpinc.org
leadership-pittsburgh-inc

1. Tell us about your cool job. What exactly do you do on a daily basis?
As the Programs Assistant, a lot of my focus is on two of our programs: Community Leadership Course for Veterans (CLCV) and Leadership Development Initiative (LDI). Currently, I have been working on the recruitment of post 9/11 veterans for the upcoming CLCV IV cohort. My day-to-day has included reaching out to LPI alums, discussing opportunities with people in the veterans community, and attending events that partner with veteran-focused organizations around Pittsburgh.

LDI XXIV just kicked off in early October which has been very exciting. My daily tasks for this program are focused on the details for our upcoming sessions. This includes organizing meals, creating working groups within the class, helping organize session space, and other specifics to make the participants’ experience a positive one.

2. What’s your favorite thing about this cool job?
I have two favorites! My first is the network of incredible people I get to work with and I get to meet. Between our three programs (Leadership Pittsburgh, Leadership Development Initiative, and Community Leadership Course for Veterans), we get to meet the most amazing people living and working in our region who come from so many different backgrounds and teach me something new every day. My second favorite is the LPI team. After being hired for Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc., I was nervous to start because of the organization’s highly regarded reputation and how closely the team worked together. I wasn’t sure if I would “fit in” to LPI’s culture. The team has been nothing but wonderful! They have all been so welcoming and have helped me to adapt to the organization, making the transition from college to full-time job much smoother than anticipated.

3. Being around amazing community leaders every day must be both inspiring and intimidating. What have you been surprised to learn about leadership since starting with LPI?
The most surprising thing I learned about leadership is that there is so much more to learn! I was hired with the thought that I was prepared for this job because I had a few courses on leadership in college and held some student leadership roles. I thought I knew everything there was to learn, which was very naive on my part.

Not only are there so many different studies and practices on leadership, but I am seeing leadership displayed in ways I have never seen before through some of the participants and alumni in our program. I have also been exposed to a number of exceptional veterans who execute leadership in a way I haven’t seen before because I personally have never worked with someone in the military. I am still learning that even though you can study some of the greatest leaders in history such as Martin Luther King, Jr. or Ghandi, it doesn’t mean that you know what leadership looks like or feels like.

4. What are your longer term career goals?
One day I would love to start my own nonprofit or consulting business. Working with children is one of my passions and I have a dream of starting an affordable camp for youth athletes. I would love to do this because so many young children miss out on the opportunity to improve their skillsets because they can’t afford the same camps so many other student athletes can. It would open a doorway for those who deserve a chance.

5. What advice do you have for others who have a desire to work in the nonprofit sector?
Stay true to your passion. Growing up, my family always encouraged me to go into the medical field so when I applied to college I was listed as a psychology major. After some high school philanthropy work and multiple service trips/opportunities, I knew I wanted to do more civically engaging work and, hopefully, help change the world for the better. If I would have stuck with psychology, I would not be happy today. Also, a person’s passion doesn’t always have to be their career. Volunteering, joining a board, or helping a movement is enough to follow your passion too.

6. What are you reading at the moment?
I am currently reading “How to Be a Star at Work: 9 Breakthrough Strategies You Need to Succeed” by Robert E. Kelly. It discusses some of the key skills professionals can work on that will help them become great leaders. I also just started “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch after receiving it as a graduation present. Interestingly, both books were written by professors from Carnegie Mellon University.

7. The three websites I have to visit every day are…

8. Tell us something few people know about you.
I recently became a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. My little and I seem to be a perfect match and have fun painting, going to Kennywood, and trying new foods.

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2 Comments

  1. Tim Flynn

    I just recently graduated from Leadership Pittsburgh CLCV program and Kristy was such a valuable asset to the course and always a pleasure to work with!