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National Volunteer Week Spotlight: Meet Julia Helms

National Volunteer Week Julia Helms

Julia M. Helms
Omni-Channel Marketing, US Oncology, Bristol Myers Squibb

HBA Chapter: HBA Central New Jersey
Current role with the HBA: President of Marketing and Communications, HBA New York Tri-State

I first learned about the HBA through my first role model and biggest supporter, my mom, who has been an HBA member and leader and is still working in the medical device industry. As soon as I graduated college, my mom gave me my first year of membership so that I could expand my skillset as a public speaker and make connections since I was brand new to the industry.

I volunteer for the United Force for Change because it allows me to stay up to date with what is going on in the industry, and I love the team with which I have the honor of working. Volunteering for the HBA gives me a special boost of energy and a feeling of belonging both at work and here at the HBA. And, while women continue to make progress, change is still very much needed in our industry and it cannot happen without support from male allies. I am a huge proponent of men joining and volunteering with us!

Volunteering with the HBA has positively impacted my career by supporting me as I found my way to the work I love to do and foreshadowed growth in my organization. What I have learned in HBA leadership roles has translated directly into the work I do and has allowed me to stay flexible and adaptable to take on new challenges and not shy away from growth opportunities.

My favorite HBA event was the one where my mom presented me with an HBA Honored Volunteer award after an event at BMS. I will never forget the feelings of support, encouragement, and inspiration from seeing Susan Sweeney speak that night and being surrounded by colleagues and HBA members who have become friends.

The most valuable lesson I learned from a fellow volunteer is: always be kind.

My employer encourages me to volunteer for the HBA because BMS, an HBA Corporate Partner, firmly believes that we cannot innovate for patients without walking the walk when it comes to diversity and inclusion and supporting women’s growth and development.

What skills have you acquired or fine-tuned during your time as an HBA volunteer that you feel will help you create a future full of possibilities? Team leadership, learning new things quickly, and keeping it fun.

I applied for my current role with the HBA because I was finally ready to expand my responsibilities. I wanted to build upon my digital marketing and team leadership skills while gaining board experience and networking more, so I leaned on my mantra: “Why not me?

What would be your advice to someone thinking about joining or getting more involved with the HBA? Don’t hesitate – the fee is so small compared to the career inspiration and growth you can experience as a member.

Fun HBA Fact: My former Co-Lead of HBA Tomorrow’s Executives, Krista Fieselmann, was a bridesmaid in my wedding. I am so grateful for her friendship over the years.

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