A thriving career: ‘I feel empowered and respected here.’
By Jane Adair, for UCHealth
To bloom where you’ve been planted isn’t as easy as it sounds. Particularly if you’ve been planted in a desert. That’s where Samantha Davis found herself eight years ago as a newly minted college graduate — plunked down in the Southern Mojave, with no job in sight.
That arid season paved the way to today, where Davis is living the life she’s always dreamed of. With two young children, a loving marriage and a thriving career, she is flourishing in Colorado Springs.
Davis is a 32-year-old UCHealth benefits analyst whose career is progressing. She enjoys learning from and collaborating with her colleagues, and the encouragement they receive from management. “I love working in an environment where my leaders say ‘yes’ to ideas and change,” she said. “I feel empowered and respected here.”
The essence of her job, she says, is to “try to make the lives of our employees easier and better.” With a knack for data-sorting and a penchant for improving processes, she’s become something of an expert in the business of making things better.
For nearly two years, Davis and the dozen or so other members of the benefits team have been delivering services and implementing relief programs rolled out by UCHealth leaders to address pandemic-related stressors and worker shortages. Davis says she’s proud to work for an employee-centered organization that “gets” what matters most to workers like her: opportunities to grow, and the support to learn.
She joined UCHealth in 2016 as a Human Resources Service Center Specialist. In a little over five years, she has been promoted multiple times. Now, as benefits analyst, Davis manages the Scrubs stipend and Welcome to the Family programs, assists in process improvements for the Leaves/ADA team, and handles various aspects of UCHealth retirement programs.
There weren’t quite so many opportunities for advancement in “The Middle of Nowhere, California,” her name for the place she landed the first year out of college.
Davis was 24, newly married and eager to start life with her husband, a U.S. Marine stationed at Twentynine Palms, a training base in the Mojave Desert. It was dusty and desolate, she recalls, and the isolation was unnerving. It was a two- to three-hour drive to the closest major city and in 2013 remote work was scarce.
Davis leaned into the 120-degree wind. She spent that year planting seeds for a future career. She immersed herself in online coursework, sharpening her data-management skills and earning a Microsoft Excel professional certification.
The moment her husband’s contract was up, they launched. For the next two years Davis worked in human resources in Santa Ana, California before accepting a job in 2016 at UCHealth in Colorado Springs.
The decision to put down roots in Colorado proved to be a good one. It’s where hope slowly ripened into reality. To have a family centered life, for instance, had always been Davis’ dream.
“And this job,” she says, “supports my dream.”