When she was 16, Margaret Judge worked part time at a local hospital and she hired a friend to work for her. It was then she knew she wanted to work in Human Resources. She chose Sacred Heart University as much for financial reasons as the balance it offered when combining work, a social life and school. “It was the right school at the right time for me. I worked three jobs and commuted to SHU so I was getting the book knowledge and real world application at the same time. It was a great education for me and I was very involved with activities, so I always felt a part of the SHU community.”
While a student at SHU, Judge was on-air voice talent for WSHU, and one of her fondest memories is her first public speaking experience as hostess at the Senior Awards Dance opposite host Matt Reale (SHU ’86, adjunct professor and Alumni Board President from 1999-2003). “Every one of my experiences really helped to shape me and prepare me for the real world.”
Margaret was fortunate to graduate from SHU with a job as a Human Resources Assistant for AZ Marketing. She spent the next 14 years working her way through the ranks. She returned to SHU in the early ’90’s to pursue her MBA again while working full-time. “I have worked for some terrific companies in my career in different industries – direct mail, sports marketing, chemical, manufacturing and construction. Human Resources transcends any industry as people are people wherever you go.” These days, she is the Director of Human Resources for a Fortune 500 company. Her strengths are recruiting and employee relations. “I love people, I love helping them. I love finding the right candidate for the job. I love trying to work through a situation and help people through to resolution whatever that looks like. No two days are the same. That’s what I love about it. It’s not routine at all.”
One of her proudest career accomplishments to date is instituting a human resources department (of one) at a company that never had HR. She showed her bosses how HR can contribute to the bottom line not only by reducing the cost of benefits, but by judiciously managing salary budgets and minimizing turnover and absenteeism. “By keeping people there, happy, engaged and productive, you’re reducing costs. You can run metrics that tie those things to the bottom line.”
Some of Judge’s favorite work is as a volunteer catechist for St. Rose of Lima parish in Newtown Connecticut. A former resident of Newtown, she still teaches the second grade communion class because “I feel like it was something I was meant to do.” The tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 drastically altered her volunteer job. Judge found herself dealing with issues she was not prepared to handle. She spoke with her colleagues and discovered she was not alone in her experiences or her concerns. Margaret spearheaded an effort to organize training in grief and trauma for the 300 parish volunteers. Upon completion, attendees received a certificate and knowledge that will serve them in their volunteer duties as well as their personal lives.
Judge is proud of the growth and progress her alma mater has made. When she visits the campus, the happy memories come flooding back. She is pleased with the new buildings, the continued great name and reputation that Sacred Heart continues to develop. “You feel so proud to be a graduate and alumni of SHU. I want Sacred Heart to keep growing and progressing.”