She Helps Others Discover Their Inner Springboards for Success
Photo by Jon Keeling
Forget leaning in.
When it comes to career success and advancement, Staci Jenkins’ advice to other women is to jump in with everything they’ve got.
“Give your all and believe in yourself,” says Jenkins, a partner with Thompson Hine LLP who specializes in immigration with an emphasis in the healthcare industry.
Jenkins, like Thompson Hine, is a pacesetter. An ever-energized initiator. She leapt into her professional journey head first because, well, that’s just how she does things, she says. And she has never looked back. Outside of her practice she serves as chair of Spotlight on Women, the law firm’s Cincinnati women’s initiative, and she is the vice president of the local chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen Association (HBA). She is also a member of Hoxworth Blood Center’s Community Advisory Board.
Spotlight on Women is a firmwide program designed to foster an energetic and supportive atmosphere for women at Thompson Hine, and within the larger business community – a multifaceted program with both an internal and external focus, Jenkins explains. Seminars, panel presentations, networking receptions and roundtable discussions are a few of the events offered through the Spotlight on Women program.
“I am very passionate about helping women in general advance in their careers,” Jenkins continues. “We host and sponsor events that provide our lawyers opportunities to develop strong relationships with other professional women, and we guide them in taking charge of their leadership potential, developing self-assessment tools and building professional leadership plans.”
The HBA is a global nonprofit organization comprised of individuals and groups from across the healthcare industry committed to achieving gender parity in leadership positions, facilitating career and business connections and providing effective practices that enable organizations to realize their female talent’s full potential. The organization’s mission is carried out through the establishment of strong business networks, education, research, advocacy and recognition for individuals and companies. Jenkins first became involved in HBA as a way to hone her management skills, she recalls.
Through her involvement in the Cincinnati HBA, she found her mentor, Karen Hagerty, director of business development for TriHealth, who currently serves as the chapter’s president. “I’ve been lucky to work with her frequently,” says Jenkins. “I have learned so much from her. She is fantastic at leading, management and people skills. She possesses the exact combination of skills needed to get things done, but at the same time connect with people and help foster their professional growth.”
For every businesswoman there comes a time she must decide whether to push forward in her professional advancement, Jenkins notes.
“As women, we need to believe in ourselves, and sell ourselves. Those are sometimes difficult skills for us to learn, or to feel comfortable learning. If we’re lucky, we have someone to push and support us. But we have to be the first ones to do it, whether personally or professionally. It’s important to find a strong mentor, someone you can get advice from, share information with – someone who recognizes your potential and will support you through the process. But you won’t find that strong mentor, that support, unless you believe in yourself, and sell yourself, first.”
A Feel-Good Field of Work
Jenkins knew from middle school on that she wanted to be a lawyer.
“My dream that I wanted to be in a courtroom, taking the traditional law route, evolved over time,” she explains.
She enjoyed and excelled at math and science, Jenkins recalled, and her mother gently steered her toward parlaying those skillsets into a science or IT career path. But she turned toward a business major in college, discovering a penchant for employment/human resources (HR) classes. She decided she wanted to be on the employment side of a law career, so after receiving her Bachelor of Arts from Hanover College in Indiana, she went on to earn her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati, set her sights on Thompson Hine, and “it just went from there,” Jenkins says.
There is no such thing as a typical work day for Jenkins. She counsels several global and Fortune 500 companies, but mostly advises hospitals, health care practices, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.
Her job description, in short: helping global companies and industries solve recruitment or retention problems through immigration. It’s a job laced with many intricacies and changing immigration/employment rules and regulations, and Jenkins enjoys those challenges immensely.
“If [a company] can’t find a qualified U.S. worker for a position, and they have a need to hire a qualified foreign national to make it happen, I make it happen – legally – and help the companies take the necessary steps to hire the talent and make it possible for them to stay here,” she says.
It’s a perfect professional fit for Jenkins. She enjoys acting as a springboard for success, for companies and individuals alike.
“I don’t think there is anything else I could do where I would get to work as much as I do with HR and the legal side of a company, helping them strategize, but at the same time know I am making a personal impact on someone’s life,” she says. “It’s an interesting field, a feel-good field, because I get to make a difference.”
Thompson Hine LLP is located at 312 Walnut Street, 14th Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, visit www.thompsonhine.com/locations/cincinnati_ohio.