To tell you more about who we are, we will periodically post a Staff Spotlight on people who work in, or with, the Library. This Staff Spotlight focuses on Benita Ghura, our latest User Experience Librarian and the lead for collection development!
Tell us about your educational background and how it led you to work at NU.
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. My original plan was to practice law, so after I graduated with my B.A., I moved up to Washington, D.C. to work as a paralegal and enrolled in law school at The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law. Shortly after I graduated from law school, I decided to move to San Diego because, who wouldn’t want to live here, right? So, while I was studying for my bar exam, I got a part-time job with the San Diego County Law Library and that is how I fell in love with librarianship and segued from law to librarianship. After I obtained my Master of Library and Information Science, I was drawn to academic libraries because of the scholastic work involved. I also enjoy helping students who are in pursuit of knowledge because I, myself, am academically inclined, so I feel a kinship to others who like to study.
Why did you want to become a librarian?
I wanted to become a librarian because I enjoy helping people find information. When a student is stuck in a research assignment or can’t find the right articles to formulate a persuasive argument in their paper, then I feel like I am contributing to their success when I find a pertinent article or solve a confusing problem that helps a student progress toward their goals and dreams. I also enjoy problem solving; it makes the day interesting.
If you hadn’t become a librarian, what might’ve you done?
If I had not become a librarian, I would be a traveling food critic because I love to eat.
Many of us are Harry Potter fans around here. Which Hogwarts House do you belong to?
I would say I belong to Hufflepuff because I admire the house qualities which are: hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty, and fair play. Of course, I also like Gryffindor because it is the house that Harry Potter himself was in and I think we all have our moments of courage and bravery.
Marvel or DC?
I would have to say DC because I am a big fan of Wonder Woman. She is smart, strong, and intelligent. I always like a strong female protagonist who is self-sufficient and can stand on her own.
What is one thing that you cannot resist?
The one thing that I cannot resist is chocolate! Especially if it is a combination of nuts and caramel…Chocolate truly makes everything better.
What’s next on your bucket list?
The next thing on my bucket list is to travel to Italy. I am a big foodie and I hear the food in Little Italy is phenomenal!
What's the best advice you've gotten?
The best advice I ever got was to never give up. Be persistent and consistent in the little things that you do because they will compound into great success. It is the small, little habits and routines that we develop in our day-to-day lives that will give us the greatest results. This is discussed in a wonderful book called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.
How do you define success?
Whenever I think of the definition of success, the Pareto Principle comes to mind, or as it is more commonly known, the 80/20 rule. This rule applies to all areas of life and it can be used to prioritize your tasks to achieve your goals quicker. The rule states that 20% of our activities will account for 80% of our results. So, the idea is to then identify what activities are yielding the highest and best results for you. Once you identify those activities, the goal is to focus all your effort and concentration on those particular activities and let the rest go. A great book that embodies this principle is called The One Thing by Gary Keller. To be truly successful in life, your career, or your relationships, you need to do less, not more, and have a laser focus on those few activities that will yield the greatest results in your life
What’s the last thing you binge-watched?
The last thing I truly binge-watched was Lost. That show was mesmerizing because you never knew what was going to happen next and the episode always ended on a nail-biting cliffhanger! I would watch episode after episode until the wee hours of the morning!
What's something that most people don't know about you?
Most people don’t know that I am an avid salsa dancer. I’ve been dancing for 7 years and I believe that is the true secret of my youthful looks. I am often mistaken for a millennial.
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
Wow! This is a tough one. I would choose either Brian Tracy or Bob Proctor. Both men are highly successful and have achieved every goal they set themselves which is what I admire. I also like their personality and demeanor which is very similar to my own. It would be great to study under either one directly and absorb their wisdom. If Louise Hay was still alive, she would also be a great mentor, and she was a local too! I believe she lived in Carlsbad.
If you won the lottery, what's the first thing you would do?
The very first thing I would do when I win the lottery is buy a house in Del Cerro Heights at the top of the hill so I would have a panoramic view of San Diego. And in case you are curious, the value of those homes are currently around $1.5 million to $1.7 million.
So glad to have you on board, Benita. Besides energy, you bring lots of smarts and compassion. A great combination!
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