The Work Revolutionary

Rivers Brunson Features, Spring 2018

Julie Clow ’05 | Sr. Vice President of People Development Chanel

What sort of journey takes a psychology student in Mobile, Alabama, to the highest rung of a fashion empire’s corporate ladder? Well, a journey that includes a giant pitstop at the “happiest workplace in the world.”

Julie Clow graduated from University of Mobile in 1995 with a bachelor’s in psychology. The young mom finished her four-year degree in half the time, and earned the highest GPA in her class to boot. Her favorite professor, she says, was Mr. Steven Carey, associate professor of biology.

“He really inspired me to follow my interests. I didn’t end up pursuing geology as a career, but what I did learn is that you have to navigate your career choices by the things that really bring fire to your belly,” she says.

And what brought fire to her belly? “The research stuff.” She continued her studies in psychology by pursuing a PhD from Auburn University where she studied experimental analysis of behavior with an emphasis in organizational behavior management.

Within six years post-doctorate, she landed a job at Google, where she served nearly five years as manager of learning and organizational development. Near the end of her tenure there, she was so impacted by its world-renowned work environment (think free candy, casual dress, flexible hours) that she wrote a book about it!

The Work Revolution: Freedom and Excellence for All was published in 2012, with the goal of equipping leaders to apply Google’s principles to their organization – regardless of size. It isn’t just about “free food,” she says. It’s about leading in a way that frees, empowers, and trusts employees.

“I am passionate about helping people find the work that is aligned with their strengths, potential and ability to have an impact in the world. I feel very strongly that people should find work that they love – and that it is possible!”

Now, she serves as senior vice president of people development where she gets to free, empower, and trust employees all over the world – at a little company called Chanel.

Interested in learning more about this distinguished alumna?
Julie will be speaking at two events in April:

Torch Society Scholarship Celebration Dinner, April 5, 6 p.m., Ram Hall (RSVP at umobile.edu/ torchsocietyevents)

Business Breakdown/School of Business, April 5, 11 a.m., Ram Hall

About the Author
Rivers Brunson

Rivers Brunson

Rivers is an experienced writer and an alumna of University of Mobile. She graduated in 2015 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication. She returned to University of Mobile professionally as marketing communications specialist in 2017. She also hosts a podcast with Bellum Creative Group called Due South about Southern arts and culture. A Grove Hill, Alabama native, Rivers fell in love with the city of Mobile as an undergraduate student and now calls it home; however she takes frequent trips to see her family who are NAMB church planters in Livingston, Montana. She has a lovable golden retriever named Cooper.