Alisa Williams

We are all human and we all are in the process of learning.

If anyone’s youth prepared them for life ahead, it’s Alisa’s. From her first job to her many moves across the country (and beyond), here’s what she gained from it all.

On the move

I lived in Germany, Mexico, Canada, Michigan and Wisconsin… From a very young age I experienced so many different people, cultures and backgrounds. When you know you’re only going to live somewhere for a short time you learn to make quick connections.

First jobs

I worked at a funeral home when I was 16. It really helped me develop a sense of empathy for the struggles and pain that people feel every day. You never really know what someone else is going through.

A deeper understanding

Together, we work as a team to help companies grow and reach their goals. But before any of that, we first have to “get” who the entrepreneurs are and understand their unique stories.

The more we can have a team surrounding us, the better we will be.

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Full Interview:

Ok, so you win the prize for the most unusual first job ever. Tell us about it.

It was definitely not your standard babysitting gig. I worked at a funeral home when I was 16 and was a greeter. I also created funeral programs and dealt with grieving families.

What did you learn from that?

It really helped me develop a deeper appreciation for emotional intelligence and a sense of empathy for the struggles and pain that people feel every day. Everyone’s story was different, but they were all experiencing loss. Through the job I recognized that you never really know what someone else is going through.

What else about your upbringing defines who you are today?

My father worked for General Motors for 30 years and we moved every 4 years—within the U.S. and internationally. I lived in Germany, Mexico, Canada, Michigan and Wisconsin… From a very young age I experienced so many different people, cultures and backgrounds. When you know you’re only going to live somewhere for a short time you learn to make quick connections with others and adapt to the new environment.

I imagine that emotional intelligence you learned helps you today?

I think it gives me an empathic understanding of the entrepreneurs we work with. It helps me recognize and appreciate our different strengths. Our job is to be an additional asset and use our own talents to complement theirs. Together, we work as a team to help the companies grow and reach their goals. But before any of that, we first have to “get” who the entrepreneurs are and understand their unique stories.

How else do you think you contribute to the VMG culture?

I think I add light-heartedness and humor. In our office they’ve told me, you can always hear my laugh before you see me. Humor allows people to let their guard down, and that’s so important in work environments.

Except maybe your first job?

Yeah, there maybe not so much.

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