Career Advancement

Forté Role Model, Courtney Maliszewski, Turned Her Passion for Trying New Things Into a Career at DaVita


 How did your undergraduate student experience prepare you for career success? What academic, personal, and professional opportunities were most impactful and influential to your career?

In undergrad, I always gravitated toward the desire to have a large variety of experiences. Whether it was a new class or an internship that was outside of my comfort zone, I found that trying things I hadn’t considered helped me discover my interests.  A couple of core experiences shaped my path and pointed me to where I am today. This would not have happened if I had only focused on my original interests; by testing out new waters, I found greater passions. I learned how important it is to follow leaders (and teachers) you believe in. I also learned that an experience could be multi-faceted. For example, one summer I chose a supply chain internship not because I wanted to be in the supply chain field but because I wanted exposure to a large corporation and was drawn to the culture. That internship confirmed my desire to pursue HR, while also showing me the type of company I wanted to work for in the future. During that summer, I saw how important people are in making a business successful and in developing the company culture. This experience heavily influenced what I looked for in my next experience, which led me to DaVita. I learned that when faced with opportunities, consider what experience and exposure will help you determine who you want to be.

What unique skills and abilities help someone to stand out in your particular area of business? How can undergraduates students develop or bolster these attributes?

Human resources is an interesting field because it is truly the intersection of the business world and people. It’s about asking questions like “how do we unleash potential?” or “how do we make sure we have the right people in the right roles?”. It allows for creativity since there is rarely one right answer when it comes to people. In HR, the most important skills I have found are emotional intelligence, relationship building, and an analytical mindset. In college, my business classes helped me build my analytical and critical thinking muscles. They taught me how to think about the big picture and connect the dots between what I was learning and how to apply it. However, in HR, you also need to understand how business decisions impact people and how to build relationships. I learned this through my involvement in clubs and community groups. These extracurriculars are often what I look back on as the most formative parts of my college career. While my classes taught me hard skills, these other outlets showed me how to start becoming a leader and the importance of relationships.

Why did you choose to start your career at this employer? Why is this organization a good fit for your professional goals and objectives?

I had always wanted to be a part of a mission-based company, which initially drew me to DaVita. Not only is the healthcare industry incredibly dynamic, I found that the people I met within DaVita were also deeply passionate and driven. I knew it would be important to be a part of a company where I felt like I would be welcomed and challenged. When determining where to go post-graduation, I received the advice “how they interview you reflects how they will treat you,” and it stuck with me. During my summer internship, the leadership at DaVita was invested in my development, and I knew that would continue if I returned full-time. DaVita’s leadership development program provided me the platform to learn the crucial skills I needed early in my career while being surrounded by a supportive community.

As I’ve grown at DaVita, I have always had an abundance of support and opportunities to develop. My favorite executive saying is “aggressively get your needs met,” and I’ve learned to live by that. Regardless of the team or leader I’ve worked with, it truly is ingrained in the culture to support one another. If you are willing to raise your hand, leaders will be willing to give you the opportunity.  

What is your role? How do your work responsibilities fit within the context of the overall organization? Why is your work important?

As a People Services Manager (PSM), I partner with specific departments in the business to support all of their HR needs. Being a PSM allows me to wear many hats. Any given day requires work such as talent development, organizational design, partnering with leaders on their people needs and executing HR strategy.  It allows for great exposure to all functions within HR and how they all fit together. Every day is different, but it is essential to the business and helps leaders develop their employees to reach their highest potential. People are an organization’s greatest resources, and a PSM supports them. You have to understand the business thoroughly in order to do this. It is an exciting way to drive strategy and have a direct impact on not only the business but also the people you work with.

What is it about Forté’s mission that makes you want to support the organization’s efforts?

Over the years, I have always valued DaVita’s partnership with Forté. The investment in women’s careers is incredibly important and impactful. In college, there were many times when I was unsure what a path forward would look like for me in the business world. I wish I had an organization like Forté at that time to help me see what possibilities there were. Once I was at DaVita, thanks to my mentors and the representation I saw, I found clarity and direction in areas I hadn’t before. Supporting Forté means supporting women in their career journeys, which is something that has a lasting impact. 

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