One thing is crystal clear: we all need mentors. From helping us make difficult business decisions to providing on-the-spot advice to shaping the trajectory of our careers, we can learn valuable lessons from our mentors. TrackTik introduces two successful women leaders who not only credit their mentors with helping them choose careers in the security industry, but are also giving back by becoming mentors themselves.

Posted by Debbie Howlett – Posted on May 5, 2020

Leader Spotlight: Suzanna Alsayed, MDEM, Project Delivery Specialist, Corporate Emergency Coordinator, Bell and Founder of Hilt International Security

Suzanna holds several degrees including a bilingual Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science, a bilingual Honors B.A. in International Studies, a Certificate of Bilingualism, and a Masters in Disaster and Emergency Management. She has also completed several security and emergency management certifications, training, and programs, including numerous Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the United Nations Department of Safety & Security (UNSDD) courses. Currently, she is a Project Delivery Specialist and Corporate Emergency Coordinator at Bell. 

Suzanna was raised by a Russian mother and a Lebanese father–early mentors who recognized the importance of education and enjoyed discussing global politics and international affairs with a young Suzanna. Having grown up in a multicultural home, she is fluent in Russian, French, English, and has a rudimentary knowledge of Arabic and Mandarin. She is fascinated by how different languages reflect cultures, how culture shapes outlook, and how governments respond to critical situations–a response we are currently witnessing firsthand during the COVID-19 global pandemic crisis.

Suzanna always knew she wanted to be part of a dynamic and evolving industry, but didn’t know exactly what that purpose was until she discovered the security and emergency management world. Over the last 7 years, she has worked in the airline, insurance, pharmaceutical, and emergency management industries, as well as in universities and hospitals, in both a private and public capacity. Thanks to these experiences, she was able to develop professional relationships with myriad clients, stakeholders, and influencers, but it was a chance meeting at a Starbucks coffee shop with a risk management consultant that ultimately helped Suzanna discover her true professional purpose. 

In early 2020, Suzanna also founded Hilt International Security, a holistic security firm, that provides small- to medium-size businesses around the globe with security and emergency management service solutions. Her mission is to work with different international security and emergency management platforms in order to protect people and assets worldwide. Suzanna believes that by showcasing different skills, languages, culture, and expertise, the world can come together, one project at a time, one client at a time.

In her everyday life, Suzanna brings a multicultural view to the table, which is strategically advantageous in the field of emergency management and security. She continuously strives to ensure that she is up to date with industry practices, regulations, and standards in order to give back to her colleagues as both a coach and a mentor. She stresses the importance of having multiple mentors, at different stages in your professional and personal life, but also concedes that it is alright to outgrow your mentors too. “As long as you are able to give back what you’ve learned to the younger generation,” Suzanna says, “the world is your oyster.” 

“Leadership is about leading people. Empowering them. Guiding them. Mentoring them. It is about mitigating pressure for them. Pulling them together and pushing them towards their goals. It’s about taking the hit for your team. It is about being the first one in the office, and the last one out. That is leadership to me. Everything else is extra.”

– Suzanna Alsayed

A few tips on adopting a leadership mentality: 

  • Believe in yourself – dive in and take a chance. 
  • Set goals, learn from mistakes, and celebrate milestones.
  • Expand your network to learn from the best in your industry.
  • Continue learning and pursue personal development.
  • Practice self-worth.
  • Be the best version of yourself.
  • Be organized.
  • Know your limits. 
  • Lead by example.
  • Find a mentor.

Link to the TrackTik Original Article: