Rising Young Professionals: Laiya Rollins

Meet Laiya Rollins, a VSAE member, young professional, and Membership & Workforce Development Coordinator for LeadingAge Virginia.


What led you to where you are now?

I fell into the association world by chance, and I have grown to love it. After the birth of my first daughter Elliana, I moved from Norfolk to Richmond and decided to work for a temp agency to gain exposure in different sectors to see what I enjoyed. I had assignments in higher education, real estate, financial institutes and nonprofits. My last assignment was with LeadingAge Virginia as their Member Services Assistant. After five months on the assignment, I was offered a full-time position. My mentor and supervisor at the time encouraged me to learn different parts of the association to help me advance. Within my first two years at LeadingAge Virginia, I strived to learn and do more than what was in my job description. When my mentor decided to retire from her position, all of the knowledge that she placed in me became extremely useful as I was promoted to Membership & Workforce Development Coordinator. When I think back, my life was changed when I decided to jump in and try something new.

What motivates you at work?

Two things motivate me in the workplace. The first is to make a difference. I believe that in everything we do, there should be a higher calling that makes a difference for the greater good. Secondly, I am motivated to be someone “people like me” can look up to. I am currently a triple minority (young, female, and black). Growing up, I always looked up to people that I could relate to. I work diligently to create a path for future minority females to strive and be successful. I hope to be someone my daughters can look up to and desire to be better than me. For them to achieve more than I can imagine is what motivates me.

What are your career aspirations?

My career aspiration is to be in a leadership position doing something that I love. I have only been in my association for the past three years, but I hope to continue to learn new skills and succeed while making an impact.

If you could give advice to other young professionals in our industry, what would it be?

My advice to another young professional would be to do things outside your comfort zone. The potential of your success will hit a wall if you are only doing things that make you comfortable. Expanding your skillset will only lead to greatness.

How has VSAE impacted your career development?

VSAE has given me the opportunity to “come out of my comfort zone” and network with many great individuals. The educational sessions and networking opportunities have introduced me to concepts and people that I will always remember. VSAE has allowed my thoughts and ideas to be heard, which definitely has assisted in my personal leadership development.

How can VSAE better serve young association professionals?

VSAE can continue to serve young association professionals by offering them a safe place to learn and grow. Providing a forum for young professionals to network will help develop career-long relationships.

What was the last great piece of advice you received?

The last piece of great advice I received was to make a plan and not be rigid. Whether it be a one, three, or five-year plan, sit down and write it out. My mother always told me that “regardless that time will pass, what side will you be on.” Are you going to be successful and get things done, or are you going to be in the same situation you were in before the time passed?

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work, I am a pasta enthusiast! On weekends I can be found wrapped up in a blanket with my family, binge-watching anything while eating a hot bowl of pasta. When we do decide to go outside, I make memories with my daughters.

Do you have any favorite apps that you use for your job?

My current favorite app for work is Trello. It has been a lifesaver for organizing my thoughts in a simple, streamlined manner.

Share this post:

Comments on "Rising Young Professionals: Laiya Rollins"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment