Meet Noodle Vice President, University Partnerships Cammie Hebert
“There are several traits critical to a strong female leader, including integrity, trust and self-awareness, but I think the ability to focus on others is most important.”
Focusing on new business development, Cammie Hebert both provides marketplace perspective and improves sales processes and operations strategy. She has been working in the online program management space for over 5 years to develop, launch, and scale strategic online offerings based on institutional objectives and market demand. Recently, her achievements include winning one of the country’s largest Online Program Management (OPM) partnerships. Previously, Hebert spent 8 years with Pearson Education where she worked as an Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships and as an Institutional Sales Manager. During that time, she worked closely with higher education executives in order to develop partnerships to power key institutional initiatives. While at Pearson, she also led the efforts to develop and implement one of the first competency-based education programs offered in the western United States.
What public figure today has had the most influence on your life and why?
The public figure that’s always been at the forefront for me has been Dolly Parton. I loved her and her music as a child, but what I think is really special about her is that over the years she’s built an incredible empire out of what she’s always been so passionate and so authentic about. Her success spans more than five decades and she is universally loved by generations of fans from all backgrounds. I believe this can be attributed to the fact that Dolly has always been true to who she is, very grounded and comfortable in her own skin. She knows who she is and she’s never been afraid to share that.
What female figure in your personal life has been the most influential to you and why?
That would have to be my mom. She earned her master’s degree in music and, not long after that, went on to become president of a major medical company. At the same time, she served as president of my school PTA. She taught me how important it is to be a hard worker. She was also always so connected to me, and always had a smile on her face. Because of her influence, I am a very positive person, and my family always comes first.
As a woman, what are the biggest challenges you face today in the business world and why?
As a woman, I have found that kindness can be mistaken for weakness. No one’s said that to me directly but it’s something I’ve often felt. The other challenging thing is balancing your personal life with children and your work. At the end of the day, setting those personal boundaries can be hard, but they’re critically important.
Who is your favorite historical female figure and why?
Maya Angelou. I love her teachings, and the fact that she successfully overcame so many obstacles of harassment and abuse to become a respected writer and activist. And it wasn’t just what she accomplished, but the way that she did it. She was focused on the right things. One of the memorable things she said that resonated with me is, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
List 5 influential women today who you think will have a great impact over the next 5-10 years and why?
I think the influential women of today who will have the greatest impact over the next 5 to 10 years are women whose names we’re not even hearing right now, the many unsung heroes who work so hard as teachers and health care workers, while homeschooling their own children during this pandemic. The impact they are having during this difficult time is absolutely immeasurable.
What elements or traits do you think a strong female leader should have and why?
There are several traits that are critical to a strong female leader, including integrity, trust and self-awareness, but I think the ability to focus on others is most important. To develop your team in a way that focuses on their strengths rather than their weaknesses works wonders. Building self-confidence leads people to share their confidence with other team members, because, in the end, everyone wants to be successful.
What is it about your background that successfully positioned you for your current role at Noodle?
I’ve worked in higher education for almost 16 years, serving in a number of different positions during that time. In the last 8 years I’ve spent most of my time working with leadership. Ultimately, our focus is always on the students, and doing good just feels good.
Describe how your career has been enhanced by exposure to diverse people, places or experiences.
Every day my job requires me to interact with people of all kinds: different backgrounds, different ethnic groups, different levels of seniority. Learning from that mix has taught me how to better understand others, how to communicate more effectively and how to have more meaningful interactions.
How do you build momentum as a leader among diverse stakeholders at Noodle?
I get them involved. Whether I bring them into a meeting in-house or with a client,my goal is to help them understand that they bring value to what we’re trying to accomplish. There’s no way I could ever do my job by myself – we all work together to achieve our outcomes.
What is the most effective tool in your leadership arsenal and why?
My ability to connect, to communicate with others. My mother always reminded me that “you have one mouth and two ears for a reason.” She taught me that people always want to be heard.
How do/can women “pay it forward” in encouraging and supporting other women in the workforce around them? Have you yourself experienced this in your own career, either through your actions or the actions of other women?
I have experienced it with the women at Noodle so much – with all of us – who lift each other up. I’ve never been a part of a group of people who are so encouraging and so want to see you succeed.
According to recent data from the Center for American Progress, 41% of women are the sole or primary breadwinners for their family, earning at least half of their total household income. How does this historic shift reflect the changing status of women in America?
I believe that as women we’re finally proving our worth and value in the workforce. The other interesting thing about that shift is that, in order for it to work, men are stepping up more and more to take on softer roles.
Mae Jemison, the first black woman to travel in space, has said, “Never limit your imagination because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” How does that quote resonate with you?
What she’s simply saying is that opportunities are endless and not to put boundaries on yourself. She’s pointing out that “You are what you think.”
Tell us something about yourself that everyone might be surprised to learn.
I was born and grew up in Kansas and was somewhat of a tomboy. I never did beauty pageants, so for me it was an anomaly when I entered, then won the Miss Kansas pageant in my early twenties. Going on to represent my state in the Miss USA pageant served as a real catalyst for me. It taught me how to think more easily on my feet and how to present in front of a group of people. It was empowering for me to be there, because I don’t know how else I could have gotten that kind of experience at the time. It was all great memories for me. In fact, I made three lifelong friends through my Miss USA experience.