[NOTE: Based on an interview with Clare Hawthorne '02, the following story appeared in Issue 9 of the Promise Update, published in the Fall 2016 Winsor Bulletin.]Promise asks us to imagine what the future holds for Winsor girls.
Clare Hawthorne '02 sees giving as a way to support the best possible future—for the girls and her school. "I also give to show my gratitude for what Winsor gave me," she adds. "I cannot imagine what my life would be like without the foundation Winsor provided."
"There are experiences in which the person you walk in as is not necessarily the person who walks out," Clare explains. In a word, Winsor was "transformational."
After Winsor, she went on to earn her bachelor's in engineering from Duke, a master's in accounting from USC, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Yet Clare sees Winsor as setting the groundwork for who she would become.
How did Clare—currently the Americas Team Leader for HR Specialists within Global People Services at Bloomberg LP—go from engineering to accounting to human resources? "I realized that what excited me was figuring out why complicated systems and processes were broken. I love trying to fix them," she says. "First I developed analytical skills as an engineering student and then as an auditor at a Big 4 accounting firm. Then in business school I decided to apply my skills to a field with room for a lot of improvement—human resources."
At Citi, where she worked as vice president and project lead for Citi Women, Clare focused on strategies to support gender diversity, such as designing and implementing leadership development programs. She is in her element when pondering process design and harmonization, which as it turns out, involve a great deal of prowess in engineering, accounting, and business.
Clare remembers entering Class III at Winsor. "I couldn't write a cohesive essay and tried to avoid anything that didn't involve math or science," she says. Now, daily, she uses the skills she learned at Winsor, especially writing. "I learned the value of hard work and of striving for what you want. In every job I've had, people compliment me on how fast I pick things up. That came from Winsor."
A model of generosity, Clare has contributed to Winsor's Annual Giving every year since she graduated and included Winsor in her estate planning. "For better or for worse, at age 18, I didn't realize how much Winsor would mean to me. Frankly, I thought I'd write an annual check and that would be it," she says. Instead, her commitment has continually grown. Clare talks fervently about her connections from Winsor—several of her Winsor friends are coming to her September wedding—and her dedication to the Young Alumnae Committee of Winsor's Alumnae Board.
"Looking back, I realize just how much Winsor set me up for success in my career, my life," Clare says. "There can be no price tag on that."