Meghan Sohns, DAIS Domestic Abuse Intervention Services
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Meghan Sohns, crisis intervention services manager, DAIS Domestic Abuse Intervention Services.
1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
The most challenging part of my job is hearing the pain and fear in victims who call our help line, meet with an advocate, and/or come into shelter. The individuals we work with are so strong and it breaks my heart that they have had to endure horrific things from someone they thought loved them. It’s challenging to hear those cries day after day. On the flip side, the most rewarding part of my job is answering the help line or meeting with a client and seeing their strength shine through, and the courage it took for them to reach out for help. Breaking down barriers, decreasing isolation, and increasing safety for all victims is so rewarding.
2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
I admire my father, who owned his own business for many years. He was hard-working, always out there meeting with people, and had strong communication skills. He always taught me to be honest, put my best foot-forward, and that my work product was a reflection on me and how seriously I took my job and the people I work for, so I should always strive to do my very best and be proud of my accomplishments.
3. What has been the high point of your career so far?
I think one of the high points in my career was when I was promoted to the crisis intervention services manager position. I worked hard for many years and felt very humbled and honored when I was promoted to this position and trusted to handle bigger projects and everything that goes along with supervising more staff. It’s very rewarding to be recognized for your accomplishments and I take my work very seriously to continue to prove that DAIS made the right decision.
4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
I think the biggest piece of advice I would give myself at 21 is that you are going to make mistakes and it’s okay as long as you take ownership over the mistakes and come up with solutions to avoid the same mistakes in the future. No one is perfect and I have a very Type A personality, where I strive to be perfect and I am very hard on myself if I make a mistake. I would tell my younger self that it’s going to be okay and mistakes do not make you a failure, they only make you better at your job and prepared to tackle the next project because you learn from your mistakes.
5. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
I really enjoy working in our community because I find that many people really do care about others and want to create meaningful partnerships to help different organizations out. For example, we are able to meet with people all over Dane County because of our strong partnerships with different locations that allow us to use their meeting space instead of adding additional barriers to victims of domestic violence that would require them to travel to Madison (our location) for a meeting. This way we can meet their needs where they are most comfortable meeting and where it is most convenient for them.
6. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
I am not sure if it’s a talent or any super special ability, but I do have an amazingly accurate memory of conversations, when emails were sent, when different life events took place, etc. It comes in quite handy when needing to recall decisions, review documents, and provide information to clients, community members, co-workers, and others. Again, nothing too special, but I think it’s worth noting.
7. What are your guilty pleasures?
I love reality TV. I especially love The Bachelor. I recall the season when Jason Mesnick was the bachelor and when it came to the “after the final rose” ceremony he broke up with Melissa to get back with Molly (the runner-up). I was literally crying on the phone to my friend over this and later realized how silly I was being. Crying over a couple I didn’t know and feeling the pain of Melissa — seriously! So embarrassing!
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