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13 Questions With: Susan Hurst

February 24, 2013

A/Head, Defence Research and Development Canada Library

Susan Hurst

A hero who has inspired you in your career?

I am inspired by my parents. Growing up, I think they guided me well.

The first job you ever held and at what age?

I started working in a pharmacy when I was 16 years old.

Your first position in the library and/or information services field?

I had a co-op placement in a special library.

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

I have a picture of a troll with crazy pink hair to remind me what a bad hair day really looks like!

What is your guilty pleasure?

Soap operas. I like General Hospital with a Pepsi. That would be my surgery vice.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

I recommend authenticity. There are dozens of leadership and management competencies. It is good to strive for them but you could twist yourself into a pretzel trying to be all of them. Listen, learn, participate, and be your best self.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

I don’t know, to be honest.

Proudest moment in your professional life?

If I had to choose one, it was very humbling to be acknowledged in a colleague’s research paper. I like to help people in my library and that was rewarding.

If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it?

Peace and quiet would be fine with me.

If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?

I would either be an adult education teacher or an editor. If I had any kind of skill with math, I would think about interior design.

Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “

“…go to university for a long time.”  And I did!

How do you stay current in your field?

I follow a few trusted friends, colleagues, and industry leaders.  I can be easily overwhelmed by information (which is why I try to help my clients in this regard.) I may not be the first to know something but the important stuff filters through.

What would you like your headstone to read?

I suppose I would like it to say “Be kind to yourself and be kind to others in her memory.”

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