Operations Manager Interview: Nina Huggar

May 31, 2024


Nina Huggar, Operations Manager at New Life Covenant Church Southeast

Welcome to our Career Corner Interview series! ASAP offers a welcoming space for admins to discuss their career trajectories, professional successes, and personal experiences. We hope this series inspires the next generation of administrative professionals by highlighting seasoned admins and showcasing potential career paths.

This month, we're spotlighting Nina Huggar. Read on to discover more about her personal journey towards becoming an Operations Manager at New Life Covenant Church Southeast in Chicago, Illinois. 

How did you get into the administrative field and land your current role? 

I have always been doing administrative work. I took a paralegal studies certificate program where I learned that some paralegals start off as office managers. As a result, I started at my job as an office manager and eventually grew to become an operations manager. In the interim, I worked as a special projects administrator, executive administrator to the C.O.O., membership specialist, and project manager. All of these roles attributed to my current role.

What surprised you the most after entering the profession? 

Having to have checks and balances was a surprise. In order to save yourself from false accusations, it’s good to have proof, whether that be emails, text messages, or written documents. I’ve been learning that we can’t always take people at their word, and it’s always good to have things in writing. Overly communicating can be annoying, but with that, it produces information in case these scenarios arise. 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job? The most challenging?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is completing projects, solving problems, and getting people what they need. This aspect provides a sense of accomplishment, as I know I have done my part. However, the challenges aren’t the job or work tasks. The challenges can be working with difficult people. If you are someone who works as a team player and expects the same in return, you may not receive the comradery you desire. This can always be a challenge. 

What does a traditional day-to-day look like as an Operations Manager?

No day is the same. In order to stay on task, pre-writing a task sheet or notes for the next day can be helpful. Ultimately, emails and calls have to be checked and responded to. Requests have to be processed or connected to the appropriate person. Sometimes vendors have to be met on the properties or spoken to over the phone. Meetings have to be attended. And as trends continue to arise, learning new systems, software, etc. is a constant. 

What would be your advice to a current admin looking to level up to the role of Operations Manager? 

Learning everything about your work environment or company can be beneficial for this role, as well as being able to collaborate with your coworkers. Consideration can also go a long way. People remember how you treat them. None of us are above one another, and we have to remember to treat people how we would like to be treated. Additionally, knowing how to pivot quick, multitask, agree to disagree, problem solve, and organize and delegate are all attributes that are necessary to level up to the role of operations manager.

More About Nina:

Nina Huggar is a trailblazing, dedicated professional with superior experience in administration, office management, systems development, and human resource and legal documentations/research. As a prolific business professional who wants to see everyone succeed, Nina is always willing to assist others. Nina has created strategic plans for organizational development, project management, standard operating procedures, and on-boarding techniques for both large non-profit organizations and new startup businesses. Nina has authored the New Decade New You Journal, #On It Weekly Planner, and collaborated on the book, The Balancing Act: Tips on Balancing Your Professional and Personal Life.

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