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Employee Spotlight: Story Sylwester, Operations

Employee Spotlight: Story Sylwester, Operations

Based in Dallas, Story has been with The Pill Club for the past three years, where she’s worked across a variety of roles including patient care, training, quality assurance—and most recently, operations. In a previous life, Story had aspirations to track down Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. But rather than sink her time trying to solve mysteries, Story opted for a career of a different sort that intersected with her passion for politics, women’s rights, and gender equity. Patient Care’s Jorge Vargas got the full scoop—read on to learn more!

What are three facts about you that might surprise people?

I think most people know this, but I’m the proud owner of a pet pig named Sodium (“Soda” for short)!

When I was young, I wanted to be a cryptozoologist because I was obsessed with hunting for Bigfoot, aliens, and the Loch Ness monster. When my parents broke the news to me that this wasn't a real job (someone please tell the Discovery channel), I tried to do the closest thing possible by studying human evolution.

For a while I thought about becoming a clothing designer and learned to sew and pattern my own clothes while working at a start-up sewing studio in Portland. I still love clothes, but wouldn’t be mad if I never had to sew another hem in my life.

Tell us about your path that led to The Pill Club.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in women’s rights and gender equity— maybe it’s because I was the only girl out of four kids. When it came time to choose my major as an undergrad, it seemed like a no brainer: gender studies all the way!

Fast forward a few years, and I decided that physical anthropology would make me more “employable,” and I took that all the way to grad school. While I was getting my graduate degree, however, I stumbled into activism by organizing the March for Science in London. This experience reinvigorated my passion for politics, gender equity, and social impact. I loved the people in this space and their energy, plus the boundless optimism was intoxicating. I was hooked!

After finishing up my studies I had a choice to make: did I want to work in the social impact space, or did I want to chase fossils? The offer from The Pill Club seemed serendipitous—it allowed me to follow my interests while staying close to my loved ones.

What do you feel is your greatest strength?

According to all the personality tests I’ve taken, my greatest strength is openness to new things. NOTE: this openness does NOT extend to pickled eggs or really any pickled things. I don’t like pickled foods.

What motivates or inspires you professionally?

I’ve always felt motivated by The Pill Club’s mission. The fact that we’re providing a critical service makes working here an incredible opportunity. Every woman I know has her own story about what life was like before services like ours existed—the feelings of judgment and shame, inaccessibility and its consequences (the list goes on). Those stories and my own keep me motivated to keep improving.

What’s the best career advice you can give?

As a teen and young adult, I had an eclectic resume: painter, football referee, administrative assistant, art instructor, sewing teacher, etc. My dad used to tell me that collecting experiences like this would make me a more interesting and capable person, and that to make the most of this, I should learn as much as I could within whatever opportunity I was given. So, I embraced whatever job I had and learned all I could. Even when I was a urinalysis technician, I found that I learned a lot from patients about life, staying humble, and struggles outside of my own.

That’s a long-winded way of saying that the more experiences you have, the more well-rounded you become. In whatever job you have, start from the assumption that there’s more to learn.

If you could have any two combinations of superpowers, which would you choose, and why?

This question is REALLY HARD. Right now, I think I’d want invincibility and the ability to breathe underwater. I’d like to explore the ocean. :)

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