Deirdre Glynn Levin, JD’90
What is the biggest mistake you've made at your job / a job interview?
Early in my career, I was late arriving at an important interview to work for a federal judge. Bill Clinton, who was a very popular presidential candidate at the time, had just arrived in Seattle and his motorcade had completely blocked traffic. When I finally arrived, I told the Judge that I was delayed because I was standing in long line to purchase a ticket to Clinton’s campaign fundraiser – $10k per plate. Seeing his reaction, and realizing the position required me to be non-partisan, I said I changed my mind because I was short on cash– I had only $9999 in my bank account. He laughed… I was sure I had blown it but I got the job (and stayed for 7 years).
What was the most important connection you made?
The most important connection I had made is meeting my husband, Rob, to whom I have been married for 21 years. He is not only a loyal spouse, but best friend, critic, co-parent, Scrabble partner, biking buddy and advisor.
What was your most embarrassing moment at work?
I was a new hire and was introduced to a woman who had been at the job for many years and asked if the photos on her desk were photos of her grandchildren. She replied no… that they were her children! She was very sensitive about her age and I never forgot the faux pas… I believe she resented me for that comment for a long time! I’ve learned to ask more open ended questions.
What is your best memory from your time at UBC?
I loved Friday Intermural runs and Storm the Wall. Also – finding a quiet place to study near Jericho or Wreck Beach on a warm fall day – UBC is blessed to be located on such a beautiful corner of this planet.
What did you think you would be doing when you started university?
I thought I would find a position in the federal public sector in policy drafting and analysis, possibly in Ottawa where I had done my undergraduate degree, and using my French language skills as well.