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Spotlight: Olivia Phillips

Name: Olivia Phillips
Year: Third
Major: Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Hometown: Ashland, VA


1.    What brought you to the Women's Center?

My first couple of years at UVA were challenging for me, and I really struggled to find both my place and my people. As an intern, the Women’s Center quickly provided me with a safe and encouraging space to grow, and surrounded me with inspiring people that I knew I could both count on and engage with. From professors, to counselors, to staff, to interns, there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for the Women’s Center and the positive change it has brought into my life!


2.    What other organizations are you involved with at UVA?

Here at UVA, I’m involved with a couple of different volunteer programs through Madison House; I was also recently accepted to work on Take Back the Night’s Vigil Committee; and, of course, the Women’s Center!!!


3.    If you could describe your intern team in 3 words, what would they be?

Passionate, Empathetic, Sincere


4.    What is your favorite memory of UVA thus far?

I think Trick or Treating on the Lawn each year definitely qualifies as a favorite UVA memory for me. Seeing all of the kiddos (however old) running around in their costumes all along the Lawn is one of the most precious memories I can think of, and standing on the Rotunda steps watching it all just feels incredibly wholesome.


5.    What does leadership mean to you?

What I consider to be leadership – and good leadership – has definitely shifted over the years. However, I think that being a good leader requires a practical balance between empathy and strength. A good leader must utilize both observational awareness and intentional listening to identify the strengths carried throughout a team, but should be responsible enough to know where and when a given strength can be best utilized.


6.    What is your guilty pleasure?

While I wouldn’t say I feel guilty about this, one of my new favorite pastimes is watching David Dobrik’s videos on YouTube. If you’ve seen them, you’ll probably understand why I love them, and if you haven’t, I would HIGHLY recommend watching (they’re hilarious and less time consuming than Netflix)!!

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