People Make Collections Job Worthwhile

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Some people might cringe at the idea of working in a job that required them to get people to pay their bills — but not Elizabeth Grace.       

“I love my job,” said Grace, who is a student account collections specialist. “I enjoy talking to people, not to mention, this job teaches me about being compassionate.”

Although it can get annoying when people ignore her attempts to get in touch, Grace, who has been at Tech for 24 years, tries to remember that “things happen to everyone.”

“One of the most satisfying parts of my job is seeing how relieved people are to know that I’m willing to work with them when it comes to collecting the money,” she said. “People are really grateful for my help, and that means a lot.”

Recently, The Whistle had an opportunity to learn more about Grace.   

What did you want to be when you were a child?
I sang Doo-wop in talent shows as a child, so I really wanted to be a singer. I still enjoy singing in church choirs.

How did you arrive at Georgia Tech?          
I worked as a librarian in Brooklyn for about 10 years before I moved overseas with my husband, who was in the Army. While we were stationed in Europe for five years, I found a job as an official storyteller for the Army, which meant that I got to read and make up stories for the children whose parents worked on the bases in Germany. When I returned to the States, a friend urged me to move to Atlanta with my two children. I found my job at Tech and have been happy here ever since.

What piece of technology could you not live without?    
I love the Kindle Fire that I just won at a collections conference. I use it all of the time for reading my books and magazines.

Which do you prefer: Facebook, Twitter or a world without all of this social media stuff?    
I love Facebook. In five generations of family, I’m the only one to have left Brooklyn, so it’s a good way to keep in touch with my relatives.  

What is your favorite spot on campus?
I’m a walker, so I really enjoy the indoor track at the Campus Recreation Center.  

What have you enjoyed most about Georgia Tech?
Working here has allowed me to take care of my children and ensure that they could go to college. My daughter has a doctorate in microbiology from Georgia State University, and my son is a year away from graduating from Atlanta Metropolitan College with a bachelor’s in physical education.  

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My parents would tell me to keep my head up, which I’ve always done. And then my father would always say, “Always think on your feet — not on your back.”

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
My mother, who passed away 17 years ago. I’d want to let her know everything that the kids and I have accomplished.

Where is your favorite place to have lunch, and what do you order?
Siam in downtown Decatur, and I always order the seafood rama, which is made with coconut milk, mussels, shrimp and scallops.

Tell us something about yourself that people might not know.
I travel a lot and really enjoy cruises. I’m eager to take one to Alaska.



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    Amelia Pavlik
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