Fairygodboss was thrilled to connect with the wonderful Ebony Joyce, co-founder of Morgan Veteran Recruiting Group, this week. Hers is a story of continual self- and career-reinvention, the power of persuasion, and knowing that it's never too late to take a leap of faith if it lands you where passion is present. Today, this former Supply Chain guru is working to connect veterans with job opportunities, and the lessons she's learned along the way are seriously inspiring.
Fairygodboss Of the Week: Ebony Joyce
Managing Partner, Morgan Veteran Recruiting Group
FGB: Tell us a little about your career How did you get to where you are now?
EJ: I got to where I am now by having lots of patience and persistence. Over the course of two summers, my junior and senior year of college I worked for a student loan company as an intern with duties that had no correlation to my major at all. They did hire me part-time during the non-summer months which lead to the opportunity to become an Associate Director of the Financial Aid at a local Community College, which was amusing within itself. With my persuasive personality, I was able to use my experience in financial aid and the compliance regulations that come along with Federal Aid as a means to land a job at a major U.S. defense contractor and industrial corporation. I started my career as a Supply Chain Specialist; during the same time starting my M.B.A with a focus in Global Supply Chain Management. Finally, my education and career were in alignment.
After five years I decided to move to one of the largest managed health care companies. I was still in supply chain but I specialized in contract negotiations and management. I knew my goal was to one day end up in the oil industry so after two years in health care I decided to take a position as a Strategic Sourcing Manager with the Global a Fortune 200 company that generated and distributed electrical power, one of the world's leading power companies. The two-year itch started to occur again, but I had already worked for some of the largest companies in Indiana, the career ladder was becoming very narrow. As luck would have it I took a position as a Global Sourcing Manager with a Fortune 500 manufacturer of industrial tools and household hardware and provider of security products and locks. After 6 months and invaluable experience I was let go!
I spent the last 10 years in various industries gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience. When I wasn’t working on my own career I was helping others figure out their career path by setting up mock interviews, searching for jobs or drafting resumes.
One day I got a call from a friend I met during graduate school. During our long conversation, we started to speak about our careers. During our next call, we spoke about expanding our services of helping friends and family into something much bigger. The light bulb went off. Before I knew it, Morgan Veteran Recruiting Group was forming. We specialize in placing veterans in the Supply Chain and Technical careers. All of my career opportunities have landed me where I wanted to be. The experience of each organization has been meaningful during my entrepreneurial journey. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” —Farrah Gray
FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
EJ: “Whether you think you can or can’t your right”- Henry Ford. I’m most proud of my ability to finally take a risk into entrepreneurship. I think back on my friends and family asking me "what took you so long”? I was afraid to take the risk. I would rather depend on someone else to determine my professional career. But after I got let go unexpectedly, I realized that working for someone else was a risk. I had been taking that risk daily for years. So why not determine my own path? I didn’t think I could, and I was right. Now I know I can, and I’m right about that too. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. You can do anything you decide to do, the procedure, and the process is its own reward.” - Amelia Earhart
FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
EJ: Being a startup business, I face challenges every day. I am an introvert by nature. However, being in a
leadership roles requires me to build solid networking skills. I’m still developing my "extrovert" skills.
FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like
EJ: Build and maintain your network before you need to use it.
FGB: Why do you love where you work?
EJ: I love where I work because I’m working with my passion. I loved to see the look on peoples face then they see how you transformed their resume, it builds self-confident. They’re ready for the interview. I get to work with service men and women who have served our country and it’s away for me to pay it forward. Now I’m helping veterans, which gives a new meaning to my purpose. Figure out your passion, it will enlighten your purpose.
FGB: Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? Why?
EJ: My Fairygodbusiness partner, Co-Founder and CEO Maria Mayes. Her entrepreneurial spirit helped me take a chance on myself. I love collaborating on ideas about our business with her. Working as business partners is definitely an opportunity that not many women choose to experience. Being business partner has definitely given us a unique bond. We have to communicate frequently, share our issues and concern, we balance each other out.
FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?
EJ: Since I’m in a startup, I’m never not working. But when I take a break I love watching movies or reading a
book on the couch.
FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?
EJ: Janice Bryant Howroyd the Founder and CEO of Act 1 Group, the largest women owned workforce solutions company is the US. I’d love to obtain her perspective on the staffing industry and the impact that technology has played. She was recently named #34 in Forbes list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. In 2014, she was recognized as the first black women to own and operate a billion-dollar company. There’s so much knowledge that could gain from a lunch with Janice.
FGB: What is your karaoke song?
EJ: Anything from the 90s. I’m a horrible singer so it will keep the crowd entertained.
FGB: What is your favorite movie?
EJ: "Pretty Woman"
FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
EJ: "Year of Yes" by Shonda Rhimes
FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
EJ: Shoes and Purses. If I won the lottery I would make a donation to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.