Author: Haley, WAR, Int’l Intern
When talking with Women At Risk International (WAR, Int’l) founder and president Becky McDonald, she suggested I write my perspective on a day in her life after I commented on how many social media followers might find it interesting. Becky laughed, and we joked about how she would hate being followed around by a camera, but she told me to write it anyway because it’s not often you get to see how the founder of a nonprofit operates. That being said, anyone who knows Becky knows it is nearly impossible to explain exactly what she does every day due to the unpredictability of her schedule. There will never be a fully accurate ‘Day in the Life of Becky McDonald’, but there are more or less some consistent things you can expect to see her do on a typical day in the office.
The first of these things is never sitting down. From the moment she enters the office to the moment she leaves, Becky rarely takes a moment to pause or rest. She is constantly in a meeting, on the phone, following up on something, or mid-conversation when you see her. This ensures Becky remains active and engaged in day-to-day happenings as a remarkably hands-on founder, something she takes pride in. It’s not uncommon for Becky to arrive at the office immediately after ending an engagement outside of headquarters, only to walk straight into another meeting or call in her office, then leave later in the day for more outside engagements. In her mind, there is always one more thing to do before she goes.
The next thing you can expect to see is Becky fixing something. And by fixing something, I mean anything: fixing a crisis situation, a programming oversight, a forgotten task, or even physically fixing something broken in the building. Many people might think these things would be beneath her dignity as a founder, but instead, the opposite is true as Becky makes certain that everything ends up as it should—whether she needs to fix it herself or have someone else do it. As an example, when staff found themselves without a Christmas tree that was needed to advertise holiday merchandise in an upcoming photoshoot, Becky went out and personally searched multiple craft stores for the perfect tree instead of pushing the task to someone else, so plans for the photoshoot could continue. It’s little moments like these that shine a light on the reason WAR, Int’l thrives, because everyone is a team and no one is above doing the grunge work (even Becky).
Lastly, you can expect to find Becky laughing. It doesn’t matter where she goes in the office or who she’s with, you will find laughter follows. With the seriousness of their mission, most people might expect the WAR, Int’l office to be a stiff or tense environment when the opposite is true. Serious work demands moments of laughter and silliness to offset the stress of difficult situations at hand. Becky is no stranger to this and frequently offers up hilarious stories or witty comments that make everyone crack a smile.
A day in the life of Becky would probably exhaust anyone, but she makes it look easy while encapsulating everything that makes WAR, Int’l what it is today. It’s a far cry from the lofty founder life many would expect, but it’s genuine to the mission and vision that celebrates the entire WAR, Int’l team as equals.