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Pride Month Profiles in Diversity: Noodle Enrollment Advisor, Taylor Pearson

June 27, 2023

Get to Know Noodle Enrollment Advisor, Taylor Pearson

When working with others, it is important to be open minded so that everyone on your team can use their voice.

Taylor Pearson is an Enrollment Advisor at Noodle. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland she received her undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood Education and Dance from Slippery Rock University. She recalls education being a focus of her life’s work first in high school when she enrolled in a Child Development class where she had the opportunity to teach preschool children. From there onto college her mentors encouraged her to  try teaching in different environments. Taylor has taught in a variety of settings – including a Headstart program, a school for the performing arts, and even an international school in Mexico. She shares that she is  grateful for the chance to teach children from different cultures and upbringings. Now here at Noodle, Taylor supports her team building relationships with them and collaborating with others to use creativity to problem solve. 

What elements or traits does a great leader exhibit?

I believe a great leader exhibits trust in their team, has the ability to inspire, and has the willingness to pivot/strategize when needed. Great leaders  know how to rally their team when needed. Sometimes one thought, idea, or discussion can bring everyone into alignment of the greater goal. Good leaders know what to say and how to say it! 

When you think of great leadership, who comes to mind? Why?

I think of my first professional mentor, Colleen Hazard. Colleen was the Director at one of the schools that I worked at during the beginning of my teaching career. She is a dynamic leader. She has the ability to manage and support each of her employees in a way that is specifically to them—-while still pushing them to be their best. Colleen has mastered the art of being assertive while still being vulnerable and empathetic. I have always observed and admired the respect and care that she had when speaking to every employee. She instills a sense of self- esteem into every employee which is one of the main factors that leads to the success of her team. 

Colleen actually lent me my first book about leadership entitled Monday Morning Leadership. This book transformed my thinking on interacting with others in the workplace. I started to become interested in my professional growth and began to map out who I wanted to become as a leader. Anyone that has been led by Colleen can give you a story (or two) about how she has personally impacted them. 

How has your personal leadership style evolved? 

I have worked in many different work environments including academic, non- profits, and even summer camps before coming to Noodle. One common thread that I notice in effective leaders is the ability to motivate those around you. This can look different depending on your place of work. Ultimately knowing how to motivate your team can get you over any challenge or hurdle that comes your way.

What is it about your background or career experiences that successfully positioned you for your role at Noodle? Describe that role.

During my undergraduate teaching experience I became passionate about creating equitable educational environments for all students. I believe that your socioeconomic status, cultural backgrounds, identities, etc. should not affect receiving a quality education. This led me into my Master’s program which focused on Mental Health Therapy in Schools. I completed my program online. My appreciation for the online higher education space and the access it provides to students like me have since led me to my role at Noodle. Now, I have the opportunity to assist prospective graduate students. I get to help them take the next step in their educational journey.  It feels like everything has come full circle. 

How do you support the success of your team?

I find value in building relationships and finding common bonds with others. I enjoy learning random facts, discussing hobbies, and talking about the latest binge worthy television shows. You never know how much you have in common with someone until you ask. I believe that establishing common ground cultivates an additional level of trust and synergy with your colleagues. When you truly have an understanding of the people that you are working with it makes the workplace more enjoyable.

Describe how your career has been enhanced by exposure to diverse people, places or experiences.

Having exposure to diverse people and experiences provides life lessons that cannot be taught in a book or a podcast. Most of my “aha” moments have come in the form of conversation with others. Working in an organization like Noodle is refreshing. I believe that I can be my most authentic self, and it’s uplifting to see others show up as they truly are. 

What are some of the most effective tools in your leadership arsenal?

I am very open minded and creative. If there is a challenge or hurdle, I enjoy finding solutions to collaborate with others and problem solve. When working with others, it is important to be open minded so that everyone on your team can use their voice. Creativity comes into play when trying to find solutions that are innovative and “out of the box.”

Please tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.

I am currently teaching myself to play guitar. My father is an amazing musician. Originally, I picked up the guitar in an effort to form a shared connection— but I find that playing the guitar is relaxing and fun. I am currently practicing “Killing Me Softly” by Lauryn Hill. 

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