What is “A Moment With”? The Women’s Business Development Center is pleased to continue with our series, “A Moment With”, where we periodically highlight some of our greatest supporters and partners, sharing their career experiences and advice. This month, we will be highlighting Mark Hands, Director of Supplier Diversity and Associate Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Meet Mark: Through his role at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Mark helps business units source women- and minority-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) suppliers to meet the Bank’s operational needs and collaborate with key advocacy groups to provide technical assistance to M/WBE suppliers. As Associate OMWI Director, Mark assists and represents the OMWI director in planning, directing, coordinating, and evaluating the OMWI program functions and initiatives throughout the Bank and the Federal Reserve System. Mark also created the Bank’s signature technical assistance initiative, “Business Smart Week”, an initiative designed to provide M/WBEs with information and tools to better manage their businesses.
We asked: Tell us about a piece of advice you received from a mentor that helped you succeed.
Mark shared: One piece of advice I received that has helped me succeed is to know who you are and build skill sets at the beginning of your career before choosing your career path. When you have self-awareness, you become independent of the opinions of others. Knowing who you are and what you stand for in life gives you a strong sense of self-confidence.
A Turning Point
We asked: What advice would you share with someone looking to change their career?
Mark shared: Follow your passion. Your career has to be something you feel passionate about and fosters a desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Following your passion will push you to do better. Your passion will give you determination to keep working hard, but I recommend you follow it with a strategy and purpose.
We asked: What is your favorite quote?
Mark shared: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it always bends toward justice.”
Thank you, Mark, for participating in “A Moment With”; we are proud to call you a loyal friend and partner of the WBDC. To learn more about the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, you can visit their website.