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Women Leaders Podcast

Sep 20, 2020

In this podcast, Patti Phillips is joined by Mollie Marcoux Samaan, the Ford Family Director of Athletics at Princeton University.

Mollie’s journey to the AD chair is a unique one, having never worked in college athletics prior to accepting the role at Princeton. We hear this a lot on the men’s side, but not as much with women.

Mollie did start her career at a boarding school where she held many jobs, including coaching the girls ice hockey and soccer teams.

But she soon landed an entry level job at Chelsea Piers and began a 19-year run there that saw her elevated into several different leadership roles, including Exec VP of Chelsea Piers Connecticut. Mollie said her experience there, which included work in events, fundraising, marketing and business operations to name a few, more than prepared her to lead at Princeton. And not so much because of the work she was doing, but because she was constantly challenged to learn new skills in new areas, which forced her to continue to cultivate a strong growth mindset!

In this conversation, Mollie gives great tips on hiring coaches -she’s had 14 successful hires in her tenure- and again, had not worked on a college campus previously,” , , and we discuss leading in times of crisis. Princeton was one of the first schools to cancel competitions when Covid hit, and she talks through that communication process, She also talks about the “MYTH of stress” - which also happens to be the title of one of her favorite books.

She shares a TON of great advice here, like “play life like you play sports” which includes picking your teams wisely. Amen!

We hope you enjoy our conversation, and remember, we are Women Leaders!

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