Founder, Hotline Network
Siobhan Halderson is currently a student in the Robertson School of Government pursuing her Masters of Arts in Public Administration and Public Policy. As a survivor of domestic violence herself, Siobhan's passion is to promote policies that will make it easier for victims to survive and find healing. She has seen that networking makes all the difference in the attainment of her goals, and has already achieved more than she once thought possible.
Siobhan started by volunteering with a local organization that focuses on domestic violence, where her expertise and network began to grow. When one of her Regent courses required her to put together a business plan prototype, her project ultimately evolved into a full-blown, 125-page plan to provide enhanced services to domestic abuse hotline callers, thanks to the input and influence of her network.
As Siobhan completed research for the project, she developed contacts in several related non-profit organizations, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline. As she reached out, she found many people who were interested in her plan and willing to mentor her through its implementation. She has been invited to speak to local ministries as an advocate for abuse victims, while also strengthening her network on a national level. She has made huge strides, driven by tenacity and the power of her network.
Her definition of networking? "Taking all of the resources available to you and utilizing these resources to the best of your ability. Don't take 'no' for an answer, and don't take anything personally—focus on your cause and the results that may be able to come out of your work." She says that passion and tenacity are key to success. "Don't stop just because you may feel rejected; keep going."
Siobhan encourages students examine what the driving force is behind their vision. "Do you have a personal attachment to your passion (friend, family member, personal experience, etc.)? Expressing this to others really helps in their understanding and wanting to be helpful to you on your journey." And while you must be able to communicate your vision and passion, you also need to understand your audience. "If you're going to call people and ask for their help, do some research. Understand who they are and what their passion is, and work from that. Get yourself out of the way and look for the greater good."
Siobhan also encourages students to seek God's wisdom as you pursue new relationships for the furtherance of your passion: "Find out if it's really from God. If you don't have God in it, it's not going to work. If you know that you know that you know, doors will open."