Taryn KuntzAge: 29

Occupation: Executive Director of Development, University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, University of Iowa Foundation

What’s the best advice you ever received: My mom always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. I still believe that.

What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishments: Being promoted to the executive director of development for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital at the age of 27. When I started at the UI Foundation, having this responsibility was in my long-range plans – something I was working toward and hoping would happen eventually.

What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career: It is OK to dream big, because hard work and determination really do yield results.

How do you ensure a balance between work and your personal life: I plan days off in advance and recognize when I need some time to focus on my personal life. I try hard not to work when I am with my family. Most importantly, I recognize that there is a give and take with nearly everything, including a work-life balance.

What’s something people should know about your generation in the workplace: I have often been told that I do not fit the “professional profile” of my generation. What people should know and remember about any generation is that regardless of any general assumptions, everyone is unique. Everyone deserves the chance to exceed expectations.

What is your biggest passion: Mentoring. I love the opportunity to help others in the workplace. I certainly have benefitted from many others who have invested their time in me, so I investing in others in the same way is personally fulfilling.

Who are your local mentors: Sheila Baldwin and Tiffani Shaw, both with the University of Iowa Foundation.