Compass Trailblazers Making History Now: Tracy Robinson, Site Manager, EverSource
Former First Lady Michelle Obama once said, “Your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.” For Tracy Robinson, a site manager with Compass Group’s office support services company EverSource, these words hold true. Her strong belief in herself has taken her from the corporate offices of a Japanese company in New York City, to the dining room and kitchen of a Vietnamese restaurant she managed in the Virgin Islands, to EverSource, where she worked her way up from a receptionist to site manager for one of its biggest clients. And through it all, she has helped elevate people and improve processes. Read her story below to learn how an advocate of Tracy’s made it possible for her to be an advocate for others.
What was a breakthrough moment in your personal or professional journey that shaped where you are today?
Actually, it wasn’t just one moment, it was a person – Denny Modesto, one of EverSource’s regional operations managers. I left the Virgin Islands in 2017 because of the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and I moved back to New York, where I applied for more than 30 jobs. It was a tough time, so when Denny called me for an interview, I was very excited. He didn’t have a specific role for me, though – it was more of a general interview, and I just hoped the interview went well.
Denny called me after the interview and said, “Tracy, I’m going to be honest with you. The client really isn’t interested in hiring you because they think you’re overqualified, but if you promise to give this company a year to a year and a half, I’ll find something for you here because I think you’re a good fit.”
I agreed to his proposal right there on the spot, and I didn’t even know what the job was! All I knew was that whatever it was, I was going to make it work and do my best. Denny took a chance because he something in me, and I’m forever grateful for that.
It sounds like Denny was a great advocate for you, and you’ve experienced a lot of growth since joining EverSource. As a manager, how are you paying it forward and being an advocate for others?
Mentorship is big for me, especially mentoring younger Associates, and I’m always looking for opportunities to stretch them and give them room to learn and grow. I also stress that the best way for me to be an advocate for them and their needs is for them to be open and honest with me, so I create a safe space where they can do that. But I also let them know that I can’t fight for them if they’re not fighting for themselves. That’s something I learned along the way – you have to be your own advocate, and I teach my team that, too.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Very collaborative! We’re all working together toward the same goal, so I believe in building a sense of community where everyone has a voice.
What do you want your legacy at EverSource and Compass Group to be?
I want to be remembered as someone who was always on Associates’ side, encouraging them to do their best as both a cheerleader and a mentor. I think a lot of people don’t have someone like that in their lives. I know I didn’t at previous jobs. In those jobs, I had to figure everything out for myself, and I don’t want that to be the journey for the people I work with at EverSource. I want them to know that I’m always here to support them and give them the tools and resources they need to succeed.
What is your advice to others looking to advance their careers?
You have to do your very best – no matter what your role is. When you do your best, people will see it and recognize it. I took being a receptionist very seriously. I was like, I’m going to do an excellent job, and my partner at the desk and I are going to make coming into the building a great experience for everyone. It doesn’t matter how big or small a role is – all roles are important and can have an impact.