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Finding my Stride: In My Career and Marathon Training! | #VillanovaHRDStory

Hello again, Villanova HRD! My name is Kelly, I graduated from the HRD program in May 2021 where I had also served as a Graduate Assistant. The time has certainly flown - it feels like just yesterday I was walking across the stage at graduation! Since graduating, I’ve moved back to my home city of Boston with my boyfriend, started a new position with Perch as a Senior Talent Associate, and most recently have begun training and fundraising for the Boston Marathon!

Photo Credit: Kelly Maguire

Perch is a Boston-based ecommerce startup that acquires and operates Amazon third party and other direct-to-consumer brands at scale. Our portfolio of products and brands runs the gamut from Home & Kitchen, to Apparel, to Health & Wellness, to Beauty, to Toys. Over the course of 2021, we grew from a team of 21 total employees to 259, and acquired over 100 brands. Needless to say, it’s been an exciting ride! In a scaling startup environment such as Perch, it’s been an invaluable learning experience to see processes, systems, and a working culture be built from the ground up. I have definitely utilized my learnings from the HRD program, where so many frameworks and concepts from class apply to my day-to-day life as we continue to grow.

In my position on the Talent team, I’ve been able to drive initiatives/have a hand in a little bit of everything - talent operations, candidate experience, talent branding, and DEI, to name a few! My favorite project I’ve worked on thus far has been launching a formalized Employee Resource Group structure for Perch employees. My colleague and I spent some time researching and developing a scalable ERG structure and group application formation process, as well as training sessions for founding ERG leaders to get their groups up and running. It’s been extremely rewarding to see new ERG groups come to life, and of course play a critical role in our evolving DEI strategy!

I gravitate towards DEI-focused work because I am passionate about inclusion, particularly inclusion of ability. This is a core reason why I pursued a master’s degree and career in the HR field. My younger sister, Ally, has special needs. Ally is a friend to all; she is the most thoughtful, sincere person I know. She sees only the best in people. It’s my hope that she can receive this in return from a world that is all too often exclusive, limiting, and discriminatory. Ally is my inspiration for a lot of things in life - I hope to play an active role in creating a more inclusive workplace and world in the years to come. I am grateful for my experience with the HRD program for equipping me with the knowledge, tools, and perspective to make this a reality.

Photo Credit: Kelly Maguire

Following in line with this aspiration, I will be running the 126th Boston Marathon this coming April with the Special Olympics Massachusetts Team! Running a full marathon has been a lifelong goal of mine. I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to run in my home city of Boston, for an organization whose mission is so close to my heart. Ally has been involved with Special Olympics as an athlete throughout her life. I am running to help create a more inclusive space for all athletes, like Ally, to be part of a team, make and achieve goals, develop confidence, and build friendships. These are opportunities some may not find anywhere else in their communities. My goal is to fundraise at least $10,000 by race day (April 18, 2022). If you are interested in donating, please click the link below to access my fundraising page - I would be extremely grateful for any and all support toward this milestone! I appreciate the support of the HRD community. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy spring semester!

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt” - Special Olympics Athlete Oath


Kelly Maguire, MSHRD, SHRM-CP, is a Senior Talent Associate at Perch, based in Boston, Massachusetts and is a part of the Villanova HRD Class of 2021. Kelly served as a Graduate Assistant in the HRD Program from 2019-2021.


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