Lisa Durbin-Harrison Hester

Partner and Senior Vice President at Foxhole Technology, Inc.

Degree(s): BJ '87

Whereabouts: United States, Fairfax, Virginia

What do you do?
I am a partner and senior vice president of Foxhole Technology, Inc., a service disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB) headquartered in Fairfax, Va. We provide net-centric solutions for cyber security and cyber intelligence to empower, protect and support today’s warfighters and peacekeepers. In my role, I am responsible for recruiting, human resources, marketing, public relations, advertising, event planning, proposal management, and information technology administration.

How did you get your job?
I was vice president of marketing for Number Six Software when the company sold in 2007. Rather than going with the large company who purchased us, I agreed to join the chief financial officer of Number Six and the vice president of federal marketing of Number Six in starting Foxhole Technology. We opened our doors in December 2007 with just the three of us, and have grown to nearly 150 people in December 2013.

What is the best professional lesson you learned at the J-School?
No matter how exciting the story or how creative the campaign, if there are errors, it loses all credibility.

What advice do you have for current students?
Perform in school to your absolute highest level, and work in your chosen field – even for a few hours a week the last year of school. You attend one of the top three schools in the nation in journalism so competition is fierce that first time out of the gate. A solid GPA and real working experience on your resume will increase your chances of getting an interview. I receive more than 100 resumes for each job opening we have. And in the journalism field, I would bet it is even more. If your resume isn’t one of the brightest in the bunch, you will not be able to get your foot in the door to compete for the jobs you really want.

What is your favorite J-School memory?
Mostly the people I went to school with, and professors Henry Hager and Jim Albright. Their enthusiasm for journalism – specifically as it relates to advertising, marketing and public relations – inspired me everyday. They were very harsh critics, but the lessons they taught me still apply. And I loved those late nights working on ad campaigns tossing ideas around with some of the most tremendously creative people I have ever known, and who are still my friends today.

Any additional comments?
Anyone attending the MU J-School has been given an opportunity not everyone gets. Even today, when I tell people that is where I received my degree in journalism, it still imparts credibility, and it still opens doors.

Updated: December 19, 2013