Jaya Bohlmann, MA, APR, OD Network Member, Board of Trustees, Membership Committee Chair
When I was younger, I wanted to work in media and communications some way whether it was as a news reporter or in the crazy world of a magazine publisher. But I never imagined I would become a Managing Director of Corporate & Financial Practice at a leading global public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller. However, I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my past experiences. The biggest hurdle I had to jump over was when I started my own consulting business while also moving to a new city. It was challenging to pursue my passion of becoming an entrepreneur while adjusting to a new city. However, I was able to succeed due to the support of business colleagues, family, friends, and the tools I learned from the OD graduate programs at American University and Benedictine University.
Due to the support of OD programs, I was able to get over the hurdle of starting my own business and the programs also opened new doors for me. Thanks to the MSOD Program Chairs at American University, I was able to truly get involved in OD which has sense expanded my skills as a leader. I have been a part of OD Network for 2 years now, and it has truly made my professional and personal life better. I believe every leader in the work force should be trained in OD, in order to be able to increase an organization’s effectiveness and to enable the organization to achieve its strategic goals. OD Network opened my eyes to things I have never experienced before. One experience I will never forget is just last year when I attended The International Conference for the first time. The conference’s theme was Recognize, Transform and Energize which inspired me to better understand the ways we connect and work. OD is my passion because it is the realization that without the results that OD can yield, organizations are not as productive or effective, whether they realize it or not.
Though OD is a major part of my life, I have been able to create other passions and hobbies. Without my daughter, I wouldn’t have the passion to do what I do. She even gives me daily life lessons! When I look at her, I always think of my favorite quote “Climb every mountain till you find your dream”. Meaning don’t ever give up no matter how hard it may be. And when the going gets tough, just remember to have a little sunshine, exercise and champagne!