“Once you have experienced excellence, you will never again be content with mediocrity.” – Thomas Monson
In a society where mediocrity is accepted, it is hard to find men and women who strive for more. That is why we love to feature the stories of the rare gems, called ‘Golden Rascals‘, who exceed expectations on a daily basis and continue to go above and beyond their job descriptions. Life is proud to recognize these excellent employees who put so much effort into making the company great! Check out the interview from Life’s most recent Golden Rascal winner – Jacqueline Tilma!
First of all, tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in the small, idyllic town of Clinton, New Jersey (if ever there was a real Gilmore Girls town, this would be it—complete with annual rubber ducky race on the river). I don’t sound like I’m from Jersey, but I do drive like it. I moved to Los Angeles at 18 to be an actress—and left with a degree in Political Science 4 years later. After teaching English in Spain and working in contracts and HR for a few years in New Jersey and Georgia, I went to Law School in Michigan before deciding halfway through the first year that I did not want the life of an attorney, so I dropped out after that year and moved to North Carolina. That turned out to be the best decision ever because I re-met an old friend of my brother’s from NJ, we fell in love, got married exactly 1 year from the date of our first coffee date, and 2 years into marriage, we have never been happier. I love to cook new and different things—the more difficult and fussy, the better. I’m in my second year of trying to garden…it’s not going well at all. I love to travel and experience different cultures and eat their food. I’ve been blessed to be able to travel all over the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean, but I never want to stop travelling. There are so many places still to go. One of the bigger items on my bucket list is to go bungee jump at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe/Zambia and then go on a safari in South Africa.
How did you land your position with Life corporate?
It was strange (in a good way). I had applied to a few different jobs on Linkedin but nothing usually ever comes from that in my experience. Except in this case, it did (but I didn’t even realize it). Wendy had sent me a message on Linkedin but I didn’t get a notice about it and just stumbled upon it probably 10 days later. I figured there was no way they would consider me then, but I answered her questions anyway. 3 interviews later, in about 3 days time and I had a job offer. I knew it was meant to be though when I found out the company was moving from Flint, Michigan—both my parents were born and raised in Lapeer, Michigan and I grew up visiting my grandparents there, and my dad now lives there again. I don’t think that got me the job, but it certainly helped me relate to my new co-workers a lot better than I would have otherwise.
How long have you been with Life and what is your current role with the company?
I started in early October 2014, so I’m into my 3rd year here. My title is Office Coordinator, but my job entails office administration and management, human resources, payroll, various special projects, and I serve as an assistant to Rob Hallstrand.
What is the best part of your job?
To pull a line from Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” While it’s not as extreme as that quote seems, working for a company that is constantly growing comes with a lot of changes and new ideas. While some aspects of my job are the same day in and day out, there is a fair amount of surprise. I often get to research new ideas or laws. I love research so I love that part of my job.
Do you have a favorite book or product in the Life portfolio?
What are you most looking forward to with Life in the next 5 years?
I look forward to seeing the exponential growth take place. The focus on Financial Fitness is something everyone in the world needs right now and I have no doubt the company will see massive gains worldwide.
What would you say is your lifelong passion?
My life goal is to help young women world-wide become strong women of God in this world through writing books and speaking engagements.
Who inspires you?
Terri Savelle Foy. She is a Christian writer and speaker who teaches from first-hand experience on acquiring a vision, speaking to it, working towards it, and attaining it.
Tell us about one of your most embarrassing experiences.
When I was 20, I was interning at the Department of Justice in DC. My boss there was the Director of the DOJ branch of a Bush initiative and he was really fantastic and brought me along to so many different places and meetings—including the White House. I remember the first time he came out into my office and said “grab your coat, we’re going to the White House” and then we got in a government sedan and were driven over. Needless to say, I felt like the coolest person ever—even moreso when we got there and those barrier poles retracted into the ground so our driver could go through. Given the black car and the location, we had a bit of attention from tourists and I felt famous. And then the door opened and I stepped out and my heel slipped on something (what, I don’t know…it was a beautiful, sunny day) and I basically just fell into the side of the car. While the side of the car is certainly better than the ground, I was definitely embarrassed. Moral of the story: Pride goeth before a fall.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
To wrap up, what do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
My husband and I are in the process of renovating our house pretty extensively and we are doing it all on our own so it’s taking up most of our weekends since we have to watch You Tube videos before we start anything new (and there is a huge learning curve). When we aren’t doing that, it is usually because we are traveling or just spending time together reading, hiking, going to estate sales, or shopping. Other than that, I enjoy jogging/walking really long distances and have recently gotten into weight lifting and resistance training.
Congratulations to Jacqueline Tilma for winning the prestigious Golden Rascal Award for the month of March! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!