Sandi Lee took an unconventional route after graduating high school. Moving from Iowa to Orlando, Florida, she started at Walt Disney World. She worked different customer service jobs for over a year in Disney’s Magic Kingdom until moving back to Iowa to pursue a degree. She believes that employment at Walt Disney taught her important customer service skills that benefit her in life and her current career.
Returning to Iowa, Lee received her associate’s degree. Transferring to Iowa State, she received her bachelor’s degree in finance. After graduating, she worked for several different companies, including becoming a financial advisor for Wells Fargo.
From an early point in her career, she learned the acronym QTIP: quit taking it personally. Lee learned that when you are dealing with temperaments, they are often out of your own control. In order to be a strong leader, it is important to have a strong backbone.
She began her career in South Carolina in 2007, working for the South Carolina Hospital Association. After nine years, Lee decided she wanted to look into other career paths. She went back to school at the University of South Carolina receiving her graduate degree in business administration, leading to her current career at the University of South Carolina CarolinaCard office as director.
At a young age, she envisioned herself as a teacher and involved in education. By being a part of the University of South Carolina, she is happy to achieve her goal by working in higher education. She is a role model to her two children and wants them to see through hard work, they can achieve their dreams. “Positivity inspires me, the sight of hope, the wonder of connection, of what’s going on to be actually understood,” said Lee. She brightens and uplifts, mentoring those around her.
Lee’s current responsibilities are overseeing and managing the CarolinaCard’s front office, technology and accounting. She also is in charge of keeping expenditures low and to generate revenue for the University.
Lee expressed the importance of treating the members of your team equally and leaving your personal agenda at the door. The only thing you can control is how you present yourself, you cannot control reactions.“You have to remember that you’re not the only one going through something. That everyone else has their own lives and their own difficulties they are facing,” said Lee. As director, problem-solving is an important skill to incorporate every day. Her job requires working with different departments to assure functionality and proper communication.
Sandi Lee grows as her career moves forward. As technology improves, the CarolinaCard office and its functionality evolves. She knows security is an important factor to the University, which makes the CarolinaCard is essential. The CarolinaCard provides access to vital resources on campus like dining, buildings and classrooms.
As new resources and applications arise, she leads the CarolinaCard office and members of the university into the future. “Be humble and courageous, just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying,” said Lee.