Jenny Welch: Onward + Upward

insight

Jenny Welch: Onward + Upward

Sep 15, 2020

The DAVIS logo was created with the onward + upward ethos in mind. It is both our legacy and our vision for the future. We're interviewing 20 people in '20 to find out what onward + upward means to them (along with some other interesting details you might not pick up on at the jobsite). Keep up with this series to get more insight into the DAVIS team!

Meet Jenny Welch, HR Administrator for DAVIS employees.

We sat down with Jenny (over a phone call) to talk about her role at DAVIS, her life as a twin, and more! Keep reading to learn more about Jenny.

LIFE AT DAVIS

So you've been at DAVIS for only a year. What were you doing before?
I was working as a market research analyst at a small firm in Arlington. I actually turned down an internship in Human Resources before that job, which is funny because now that's what I do.

How was adjusting to the new role?
The firm I came from only had 30 employees, so working with over 400 people was an adjustment. The first thing I wanted to do was learn everyone's name and put it to their face. But I can't do that now! Everyone's wearing masks and has longer hair now. I used to pull up people's Skype profiles when I called them to see what they looked like, and then try to remember who they are after--but it's no use now.

What made you switch from market research into HR?
Towards the end of that job, I was helping onboard new employees and helping out with HR work, and realized I liked it. I love the fact that each day I'm making a difference by helping my co-workers, and I know that work helps DAVIS. My team is amazing--I've been learning so much from them. I love how close we all are at DAVIS.

We certainly appreciate the work. What's been most rewarding for you so far?
Two weeks after starting at DAVIS, I was already helping out with our winter celebration and had to put plans together. There were so many things to put together--event planning is tough because of how many different personalities and tastes there are, but I think it went well. Then, this summer, we had to revise our internship program into a partially-remote process. Everyone worked really hard to keep the internship running, safe, and successful--and it went really well, which felt great.

Have you set any goals for yourself to try and reach soon?
I definitely want to keep learning and growing in HR. I'm getting a lot of great hands-on experience helping with recruiting and onboarding--working within a small team has been so cool, because I can take on more responsibilities.

LET'S GET PERSONAL

So the word is that you're a twin--fraternal or identical?
We're fraternal,, but some people recognize us as twins. One time we were actually told that we walk the same way.

What's it like being a twin?
It's like I was born with a best friend. I don't always have to reach out to my other friends because I always have my sister here. All my best friends are actually twins, too.

Wait a minute. Your friends are twins? How is that possible?
Two of my friends are identical twins, and I have another set of twin friends that are a boy and girl. My high school basketball team once got interviewed for having so many twins on the roster.

Wow. So, you played basketball in school?
High school and college. In high school, I was the tallest on the team by a couple inches, but when I got to college, everyone was huge, so I had to move from the forward position to the guard. When the DAVIS basketball hoop opened, I played in our foul shot competition, but other than that I havent played in a long time. I fractured my wrist my senior year, unfortunately. It was great, though--I think being on a sports team helped prepare me for my work in a way. You can see different aspects of a team, and how everyone plays their role. Even if you're not the leading scorer, you're still a valuable contributor, and that's a big lesson.

What's the worst job you ever had?
I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch in the Montgomery Mall and spent most of my time hiding from people I knew. Now I know that I'll never work retail again in my life.

Do you have any role models in life?
My mom has always been a role model for me. She came to the U.S from Peru after high school, and she's always been extremely hard-working. 

How have you been keeping yourself busy in 2020?
My sister and I go on a lot of walks and hikes. We're trying to find new trails right now, actually, and we're planning on biking part of the C&O canal from Potomac to Georgetown. We also got to do some paddleboarding and fishing in the Wicomico River this summer. 

I'm also a big true crime fan! I read James Patterson, listen to the Crime Junkie podcast, and watch a lot of Criminal Minds. 

One last question - what does Onward + Upward mean to you?
To me, it means improving yourself while growing within your skills and knowledge. And at DAVIS, everyone's working together to do just that. I've always felt that my work is so valued here, and I know it's preparing me for the future.