Interns into executives: An interview with Noreen Kilbane

As you’ll see, one of our recent interviews with women leaders at Hyland is with a woman who chooses her words carefully. But don’t let her brevity fool you – the advice is packed with guidance for growth.

This week, we chat with Noreen Kilbane, Hyland’s senior vice president of Administration. Enjoy! 

Question: How did you get to this point in your career?

Hard work, dedication, teamwork, professionalism and doing what is right. The privilege of working with amazing people didn’t hurt, either!

 Q: What woman inspires you and why?

Tricia Hyland [wife of former Hyland President and CEO A.J. Hyland]. I’m not sure words can convey all that this inspirational woman embodies, and that’s OK because those that know her understand. Tricia and I go way back. We became friends at an early age through Irish Dancing classes back when she was Tricia Maloney. She is the picture of hard work, humility and dedication. She is so passionate about her family and her faith. She is kind, gentle and strong. Her priorities are certainly in order. She is a great role model for all.

Q: What is your favorite perk at Hyland?

Like many other working parents here, it’s the Child Enrichment Center (CEC). Even though I don’t use it anymore, it will always and forever be my favorite perk.

The piece of mind it provided me is priceless. The people in the CEC took very good care of my children, and they were able to experience many more activities than if I stayed home with them. I will be forever grateful for that privilege.

Q: Looking back at your career, was there an obstacle that you overcame to help you get to where you are today?

I have learned a lot about myself over the last 24 years here at Hyland. I strive to focus on what really matters and rise above the rest.

I’ve also come to realize that earning someone’s trust is far more valuable than the latest gossip.

 Q: If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be, and why?

Co-founder and former President of Hyland, Packy Hyland, Sr. My God, he would be so proud of us!

Q: Work-life balance seems to be kind of a big deal here at Hyland. Do you have any tips for balancing personal and professional life?

Prioritizing what you are working on. And more specifically, as a leader, having faith in your team members to hand off projects, tasks and decisions to them.

Q: If you had one word to describe your time at Hyland, what would it be?


Q: What does #HylandLife mean to you?

Happiness, balanced and engaged – both at work and at home.

Q: What is one question you always ask a potential hire during an interview?

What energizes you?

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The people. Hiring the right people and placing them in the right roles is magic.

Q: What was your dream job as a kid?

FBI agent.

Q: Do you think there is one characteristic every good female leader possesses?

In my opinion, all good leaders enable their teams to do their best work. That can be through providing a vision, career development or making sure they have the tools they need to be successful.

Q: What  advice would you give your intern-aged self?

  1. If you’re discussing an issue with someone who can’t help you solve your problem, you’re creating a bigger problem.
  2. Rise above the noise.
  3. Figure out what is a temporary disruption versus a persistent issue. If the only issue is a temporary disruption, ride it out.
  4. Build professional relationships.
  5. Understand how your work impacts other departments, the financials, etc.
  6. Communicate
  7. If you say you’re going to do something, do it.
  8. Make sure there is good intent behind everything you do. 

Now that is some good advice, right? If you agree, share your comments!

Marin Kirk is an intern in Hyland's Corporate Communications group. She is about to be a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati. Taylor Salamone is a Corporate Communications intern at Hyland for the summer of 2017, concentrating on Public Relations. She is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, studying marketing, international business, and writing for the professions. Taylor is actively involved with rowing and her coed professional business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi. In her free time, she enjoys singing in the shower and consuming copious amounts of ice cream.

Marin Kirk & Taylor Salamone

Marin Kirk is an intern in Hyland’s Corporate Communications group. She is about to be a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati. Taylor Salamone is a Corporate Communications intern at... read more about: Marin Kirk & Taylor Salamone