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Holly Custard

Holly Custard

Strada Institute for the Future of Work

Austin, TX USA

"Learn new things and expose yourself to diverse ideas and practices, then find ways to infuse these into your work and life. It is what makes you, you!"

Career Roadmap

Holly's work combines: Education, Technology, and Problem Solving

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Day In The Life

Deputy Director, Partnerships and Outreach

I learn, share insights, and develop relationships that drive innovation between learning and working.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    International/Globalization Studies

    University of Idaho

  • Graduate Degree

    Bilingual and Multilingual Education

    The University of Texas at San Antonio

  • Graduate Degree

    Radio and Television

    The University of Texas at Austin

  • Doctorate

    Radio and Television

    The University of Texas at Austin

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be a Deputy Director, Partnerships and Outreach:

Bachelor's Degree: International/Globalization Studies

Graduate Degree: Bilingual and Multilingual Education

Graduate Degree: Radio and Television

Doctorate: Radio and Television

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

I've taken a lot of twists and turns

  • 1.

    First College I picked wasn't a good cultural fit for me. Left after Freshman year.

  • 2.

    Every summer during my undergrad degree, I worked to save money and then traveled internationally on the cheap.

  • 3.

    I intended to join the Peace Corps after graduation, but decided to get married and move to a new state instead.

  • 4.

    I chose to work for institutions that I believed in and that had a strong mission and vision. I developed skills to do each job along the way, while acquiring additional degrees that interested me.

  • 5.

    I found the good in each job I took but pivoted when a new learning, or problem-solving opportunity came about. This kept me learning and growing.

  • 6.

    I had two children while working and going to school full time. It was very difficult, but my husband and I shared the load, prioritized our family's needs and I eventually graduated with my Ph.D.

  • 7.

    I took a dream job that I thought was a good fit, but it was not. It was very difficult to leave without a net, go into the unknown. The financial & mental challenge was hard/good for me in the end.

  • 8.

    I joined meet-ups, took online classes, and constantly work to expand my perspective and learn new ideas and skills to tackle the work and life challenges that come my way.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Peers:

    There aren't any jobs, or money that you can get with an International Relations degree.

  • How I responded:

    My desire to learn, with each degree, was never about securing a specific job or earning a certain amount of money. I have earned my degrees and worked full time concurrently throughout my career because I love learning new things, expanding my world view, and understanding the complexities of life from multiple perspectives. This has been invaluable to me for developing innovative strategies, a growth mindset, and solving complex problems in every job I've ever had.

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

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  • It is difficult to prioritize, balance and manage the needs and demands of self, learning, work, family, friends concurrently. Never give up and ask for help. Focus on your health and people you care about. Learn time management and planning skills.