Our mission at Suite & Savvy is to learn from each other! We’ve created the “From the Desk of:” spotlight to highlight professional women who are putting career insights into practice and making professional goals practical.
With that said, Ladies, meet Lauren!
(IG: @suarezlauren , LinkedIn)
I cannot think of a more perfect person for our first From The Desk of: Spotlight than Ms. Suarez! Not only is she kicking butt in her career, but she’s also balancing all of the things that come along with being a young professional in this generation with grace and Namaste! I can’t wait for you to meet her!
S&S: Lauren, tell me a little bit about what you do.
LS: I am currently a CEO over two hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area, which encompasses 120 inpatient beds, an outpatient clinic, large medical staff, and about 500 total employees. I was working for a competitor previously in Seattle and the hospital was recognized for the best in growth, quality, and service. Every day is different and the skills I use can range from broad level strategic initiatives to helping console a family member. It is a challenging but also very rewarding career.
S&S: Can someone say #Goals?! What previous experiences did you have before landing this role?
LS: After graduate school I was part of a fellowship for 14 months that allowed me to learn the ins and outs of hospital operations and slowly gained more experience and responsibility within the organization. In college I was a supervisor at a café. That experience is where I gained a lot of important skills in managing people and tasks that were important and still use today.
S&S: We went to graduate school together, so we have a similar educational background. How do you think academia prepared you for the world of work?
LS: Most of the skills I use today, I have learned along the way. I worked as a research assistant and focused on chronic disease and the impact on healthcare spending- At the time I didn’t know how relatable that experience would be to what I do now. My career path was certainly different from many of my classmates but academia did prepare me for how to work closely with others to reach a common goal and work through group dynamics. I am also thankful to be a part of a program that was so culturally diverse and appreciative of differences and backgrounds.
S&S: Sometimes I dream about going back to my younger self and warning her about the future. Is there anything you wish you had known prior to being a working professional?
LS: There is so much! The best advice I would give is to surround yourself with good people; friends who lift you up and support you. This has become so important to me and I have a great support system of friends and family. Also, it’s ok to fail- it’s how you grow and learn. You can’t be crippled by not having an idea work out. Actually, my ideas don’t work often, but it’s an opportunity to reassess. Be your own advocate and believe in the work you do!
S&S: Here at Suited & Savvy, we value mentoring and learning from each other. Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce?
LS: My first boss was an amazing mentor. He made sure I had the opportunity to learn but also gave me the experience to be successful and always was an advocate. I feel very fortunate to learn from people I respect and admire and that had a big impact on my success. Mentor relationships are so important especially when you are new. I’ve always tried to emulate my mentor when interacting with the employees who work for me.
S&S: How do you help support other women in your organization?
LS: I had the opportunity to promote several women in my career. I feel most successful when other’s I work with continue to succeed. I’ve always advocated for women to try new opportunities and step out of their comfort zones. I want to give them the flexibility to continue to grow their career- either through leadership, additional education, or working in a new department. It’s been one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
S&S: You’re a young professional CEO with a wealth of practical knowledge. What advice would you give to current young professionals?
LS: Work very hard and be humble.
LS: I did a lot of things that weren’t glamorous or exciting for a long time; but always kept my bigger goals in mind. Get out of your comfort zone as much as you can- this is how you grow as a person and in your career. You don’t have to figure it all out right away. It takes time! Learn as much as you can and establish relationships with people you admire. Network and learn from their experiences as well.
S&S: I can only imagine that you are often very busy. What do you like to do for fun and how do you exercise work/life balance?
LS: My favorite way to recharge is travel! I love exploring new places and the experiences that come with traveling. Exercise and healthy living has always been a big part of my life- it’s the part of my day where it’s time for me and I can completely unplug and relax. Soul cycle or getting outside for a hike are my favorite now that I’m in California. A glass of wine doesn’t hurt either!
S&S: Lauren, this has been great! I have one final question for you. In your own words. what makes you Suited & Savvy?
LS: I’m suited and savvy because…
I’m a woman in pursuit of big goals. I’m passionate about what I do and excited for what the future brings!