Kathy Williams has been a valued member of Hardin-Simmons University for 24 years. Although originally from Hobbs, N.M., Williams has considered Abilene to be her hometown ever since she moved here in third grade.
She began working at Hardin-Simmons in June of 1998. Before that, she worked for the United States Postal Services (USPS) as a temporary staff member, carrying the mail on a city route. “My contract was renewed four times during that 5-year stretch, after which the position at Hardin-Simmons became available. The timing was incredible,” Williams said. Her job here on campus entails the management of the federal postal contract Hardin-Simmons has with the (USPS).
When she was younger, she gained management experience from a video store she used to work at, after which she moved to Hastings Books. Williams said the exceptional management of her own finances and her five years at USPS prepared her for her current role.
She shared that on her first day at HSU, her predecessor took her around to meet people, and before they could return to start training, she (the predecessor) stepped off a curb and sprained her ankle, and that was the last I saw of her. So, she had to utilize all the experience she had to adequately manage the office. “Also, I relied on my assistant at the time, long-time friend Jeannie Huffman. She was vital in helping me learn about the normal cycles of the office,” Williams said.
When asked what she liked most about Hardin-Simmons, Williams said she loved seeing the way the staff, faculty and employees here devoting themselves to the success of not just the students, but the success of the community as a whole. “You may or may not be able to find that in secular business, when the profit margins are favorable, but the commitment to the wellness of others is Hardin Simmons’ strength in the lean as well as the prosperous periods,” Williams said.
She said working with the students and seeing them transition from their high school mentality to self-confident individuals who she knows will make a difference in the world is her favorite part of working at Hardin-Simmons. “It took several years before I learned how to manage the heartache of losing them as graduates, only to repeat the cycle with the new semester, but it is a necessary element of growing.
Williams said her ability to adequately balance her work life and personal life stem from the fact that she has good people around her who will come through for her when she needs them, and she tries do the same for them. The best career lesson she has learned is that it is never too late to rewrite your purpose in life: “When it is time to move onward, do it!”