Happiness in Hard Work
PROVO, Utah – Jul 16, 2018 – When Holly Jenkins was eighteen years old, she bought a car, packed her bags, and moved across the country from Virginia to BYU. She had no friends or family in Provo, and she was the only member of the LDS Church in her family. Though the experience was stressful at first, Jenkins loved BYU so much that she decided to stick around—now she’s been working for the Department of Management at BYU Marriott for nineteen years.
Jenkins wanted to become a member of the Church when she was a freshman in high school, but she waited until she was eighteen years old to be baptized because her mom wanted to make sure she was serious about the commitment. Once she was a member, she decided to attend BYU because she wanted to be surrounded by people who shared her faith.
Though she was far from home and the stress piled up, she always found ways to hurdle her obstacles in tough situations.
“It was hard,” Jenkins says. “I walked into class on the first day and was so overwhelmed. It all of a sudden hit me that I didn’t know anyone for thousands of miles, and if something happened to me, nobody would know. But I persevered because I knew it was what I needed to do.”
Jenkins got married while at BYU and worked hard to put her husband through school. A few years later, she was hired as a part-time administrator for the Management Department and was eager to return to the school she loves. After nine years, she transitioned to working full-time, and has now been the Management Department’s full-time administrator for ten years.
Jenkins says BYU Marriott is the best workplace environment she could imagine. She loves working with people who help each other and work as a team.
“Any job is going to have hard days or even hard weeks, so finding happiness depends on if you work somewhere where those hard days are worth it,” Jenkins says.
Her duties include handling the department’s budget, helping with the faculty hiring process, taking care of the faculty retirement process, managing student payroll, helping with events and conferences, and assisting the current department chair.
Jenkins is also in charge of implementing changes. When the Management Department absorbed the entrepreneurship program a couple of years ago, no additional staff were hired to help with the extra workload. Jenkins had to be innovative and adapt to these changes to keep the department running smoothly.
“Holly cares deeply about the mission of BYU Marriott and creates an environment where the efforts of faculty, staff, and students are compounded to influence the world for good,” says John Bingham, chair of the Department of Management. “She’s a colleague who invests in relationships and cares deeply for the well-being of others and celebrates their successes. Her character and work ethic impact the work of every member of the Management Department and—by extension—blesses every student who comes through BYU Marriott.”
Aside from her regular responsibilities as an administrator, Jenkins serves on the Administrative Advisory Council for BYU, has served as the chair and a committee member of the BYU Marriott Advisory Board, and has helped set up two study abroad trips to Europe, which she also attended.
On the administrative advisory council, Jenkins and the other council members can take suggestions from anyone—staff or student—about problems that need addressing.
“We try to address every suggestion to the best of our ability,” Jenkins says. “I love that I get to help solve problems that people actually care about.”
Jenkins plans to work for BYU Marriott for the rest of her career and wants to continue to watch the seeds that she’s planted grow. “I’m invested in this school,” Jenkins says. “I don’t ever want to look back and regret making a career decision, so if you have a good thing, why change it?”
Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Katelyn Stiles