Julie Sygiel, Senior Director of Lifetime Membership at Girl Scouts of the USA is a Girl Scout Alum, co-founder of The Lady Project, founder of Dear Kate, and a Brown University Alum with her degree in Chemical Engineering. She inspires us every day, and we hope you'll enjoy her Q&A!
Q: What is your favorite memory from growing up as a Girl Scout?
A: "There are so many, but if I had to choose, I'd say selling cookies and meeting my goal of selling 10,000 boxes over 12 years! At first when I was 6 years old, I would hide behind my Mom or Dad as we knocked on doors in the neighborhood because I was painfully shy. They would say, “Julie here has a question to ask you,” and before the silence got too awkward, I had to find the courage to say, “Would you like to order a box of Girl Scout cookies?” Each year, talking to people got easier and I learned how to set goals, build customer loyalty, and embrace responsibility and follow through. I loved seeing people's faces light up each year when I would come around to take their cookie orders."
Q: How do you choose to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader) today?
A: "I work at Girl Scouts of the USA's national headquarters in NYC, overseeing the alum and lifetime membership initiatives. I am a team leader who loves dreaming up innovative new ideas to reconnect with our alums and elevate lifetime members! I've also been involved with several startup initiatives, including Dear Kate (a startup that makes high-performance underwear for periods), The Lady Project, and The Pockets Project (@pocketsproject). New brands and organizations in the beginning stages require a go-getter attitude 24/7 and comfort with measured risk-taking. During the product development process at Dear Kate, we filed US patent applications for the fabric technology, so I'd say I embody a bit of each G.I.R.L. characteristic!"
Q: How do you think Girl Scouts inspired your career path?
A: "Selling cookies in Girl Scouts gave me the confidence to think that I could start a business! In addition to building my confidence, the values I learned in Girl Scouts informed my career priorities. At the end of every Girl Scout meeting, we would always say the Promise and Law, pledging to make the world a better place. All of my career endeavors to date have focused on improving women's lives in some way. Girl Scouts helped me stop and think how my actions affect others and instilled a desire to spend my time working toward positive change."