Mar 7, 2023 | Human Resources

From HR Coordinator to Employee of the Year: An Inspiring Career Journey with 9Dot’s Sam Williams




From HR Coordinator to Employee of the Year: An Inspiring Career Journey with 9Dot’s Sam Williams

Hey there, have you heard the news? Our HR Supervisor, Samantha (Sam) Williams, has been named the Employee of the Year!

At 9Dot, we are proud of our commitment to fostering a positive and supportive work environment, where employees feel valued and encouraged to grow in their careers. Sam is a prime example of this! In this article, we sit down with Sam to learn more about her role, career journey, and some key Human Resource advice and insights for someone who wants to get into this exciting field!


1. Tell us about your role and how your trajectory has gone?

Sam’s Career Journey at 9Dot

I’m currently an HR Operations Supervisor and have been working at 9Dot for about 2.5 years. As HR Ops Supervisor, I oversee client insurance policies, all things COVID, and I’m also in charge of the districts’ summer school (This is going to be my third summer doing it).

As soon as I graduated from college, I started working at 9Dot as a Risk Management Coordinator. During my first year of work, my supervisor at the time, Thomas, really took me under his wing and taught me invaluable lessons about the HR field and how to navigate as a business professional. I also joined the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Events team because I wanted to bring forth my experiences being a multiracial woman that battles with my ADHD and my educational background in Sociology.

My next position was as an HR Coordinator as I was tasked to take the HR lead for District Summer School. To prepare, I closely shadowed a supervisor, Lucy, who taught me the ins and outs of District Summer School HR and HRIS operations.

After my first go at Summer School, my leadership potential and capability in the HR field were recognized by my supervisor, so I was promoted to be the Chief Operations Officer’s Project Coordinator. After about a year and a half working at 9Dot, I was promoted to my current position as HR Operations Supervisor, which my current supervisor, Deb, has helped me grow into tremendously.


2. What challenges did you face along the way?

The biggest challenge I’ve faced (and am still working on) is lack of confidence in myself and in my abilities. Many people my age struggle with imposter syndrome, which is a psychological feeling where you doubt yourself, your accomplishments, or your skills. I am very hard on myself and hold myself to a very high standard. However, my supervisors have always been very supportive and reassuring — they truly have had my back.


3. You mention a lot about your supervisor’s help. What other training and development did you receive?

A good majority of my training for all of my roles has come from having some really awesome and patient supervisors. For the HR Operations Supervisor position, I have also spent a lot of time with our insurance brokers to learn the ins and outs of our company policies, insurance terminology, and our processes. Our customer service trainings have been very helpful and they have taught me a lot about myself and different ways to communicate with clients.


4. How has 9Dot helped you grow in your own career path?

Sam and her team at their annual company in-person gathering!

Working for 9Dot has exposed me to so many different sides of HR; some of them being: risk management, insurance, compensation, credentials, summer school. This vast exposure has given me great opportunities to grow into an HR leader. Also, working for a smaller company has given me great mentors and supervisors to guide me as a young professional.


5. What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into HR or is trying to find their own niche within HR?

The best advice that I can give is to literally try everything and don’t be afraid to take on something that is out of your comfort zone — you are way more capable than you think you are so don’t doubt yourself.

When I was offered the HR Operations Supervisor position, it was really daunting. Although it was out of my comfort zone, I am so thankful that I took on the role because it has helped me advance in my career and it pushed me to develop into a leader.


6. What would be your advice for recent grads or like new grads?

I think breaking into a field is the hardest part so don’t be afraid to apply for things that look intimidating and reach out to the hiring manager directly…get your foot in that door.

Then once you’re at the company and you get your toes wet, you should definitely advocate for yourself. If you feel like you want change, whether that be in your position, compensation, or sector of HR, don’t be afraid to have that conversation with your supervisor.


7. Ok, a last question we like to ask new hires at 9Dot: What are you currently reading, watching, listening to?

I’m watching Hell’s Kitchen, and I hate to say it, but I am watching The Bachelor. It’s kind of cringey, but I’m always intrigued by it because I love the drama. My favorite artists are Rainbow Kitten Surprise, 21 Savage, and Dr. Fresch (house music). I really like Metro Boomin’s new album Heroes and Villains. Reading wise, I love my Kindle and I live for a good romance novel.


And that’s a wrap! It was so cool getting to chat with our Employee of the Year, Samantha Williams, and learn more about her role and journey at 9Dot.

From being a Risk Management Coordinator, to a Project Coordinator, to now an HR Operations Supervisor, Sam has had a ton of different experiences within the HR field. Every career path is unique and that’s something to celebrate!

Organizations like 9Dot understand and value the diversity of experiences, skills, and passions that each employee brings to the table. It’s important to provide support and resources to help their employees grow and succeed in their professional journeys. Having supervisors, like Sam had, to see your greatness can be pivotal to your success in your career.

Sam has faced some challenges along the way, but with the support of her supervisors and colleagues, she’s been able to overcome them and continue to grow in her career.

It’s important to remember that there is no one “right” way to advance in your career. Everyone’s path will look different, and that’s okay! The key is to find what works best for you. Seek out those supportive mentors and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone to try new things.

Congratulations again to Sam and here’s to even more success in her unique and amazing career path!