Say hello to the newest members of Team Minerva, Jackie Dagg and Devon Wong. Jackie joins Minerva after 19 years at the Vancity Community Foundation, while Devon recently relocated back from Singapore. We sat down to talk former lives over hot tea and coffee on a cloudy Thursday morning.
How did you find yourselves working in the non-profit sector?
Jackie: I actually started off in the branch-side at Vancity. It was a good way to get integrated into the financial system, but after three years I learned that the financial side of things was not my forte. I heard about the United Way Loaned Representative Program, which Vancity was a partner of. And after that experience – which gave me a good perspective on the commuinty side – I knew that was where I wanted to go. I moved to the Foundation in 2001.
Devon: I studied social sciences at UBC, and during my undergrad I produced a video with the Richmond Food Security Society. It was my first taste of the non-profit world, as well as video production – both of which I loved. But over the years, I found myself making more career choices that led me down towards the production path. I worked in news production in the Philippines, television production in Singapore, and eventually advertising. It was a sort of homecoming to join Minerva and return to my roots in non-profit.
Jackie, how did you anticipate the job transition after 19 years in your last role?
Jackie: It was emotionally hard, just because I’d been there so long. It was also an adjustment for my family, personally speaking. My daughter, who is 10, gave me a double fist pump when I explained what Minerva does. And my nine-year-old son, Lewis, asked whether I’d have to “make new friends” at my new job. But it was also a good opportunity for me to teach them about work, and to tell them that it’s important to love what you do.
It’s been nearly a month in for you both. What are your initial thoughts and experiences?
Devon: We’re a tightknit and incredibly passionate team. I’m energized by the work that we do, and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Also, we really like our tea.
Jackie: There’s definitely a passion in the office. It’s very compelling work that we’re doing, so I think it’s going to be fun and rewarding at the same time. I’m excited to learn.
What can we find you both doing on a typical Saturday?
Jackie: Well if I’m not driving the kids to soccer or tap dance, I might be out with the dog. We might go skiing as a family, or go for a bike ride. We try to be active and get outside.
Devon: I try to take advantage of nature as well, now that I’m back in Vancouver. Living in Singapore, my lifestyle was pretty restricted to the urban environment, so I try to take advantage of short roadtrips now that I’ve been reunited with my car. Admittedly, though, I miss the heat!
Do you have any advice for people who are also considering a career change?
Jackie: It’s really about going with your heart. For me, it’s important that my values match where I work. You spend a lot of time at work, so it’s important to do things you enjoy. Making a career change is hard, but it’s also energizing and invigorating.
Devon: Totally. You grow through new experiences, so it’s good to push your comfort zone as much as you can.
Jackie joins Team Minerva as Partnerships & Alumnae Manager, strenghthening relationships with our donor community. Devon will be sharing the many success stories across Minerva’s programming as Engagement Associate.