Skip To Content Skip To Menu Skip To Footer

Elena Takacs McGill ’04

Elena Takacs McGill '04 and husband Oliver McGill.

Elena Takacs McGill '04 and husband Oliver McGill.

Donor Profile

What is your favorite memory from your time at Dickinson?

Probably studying abroad, or even just ridiculous memories of dorm life. My experiences in Russia were very memorable, mainly because of the people who were in the program and the instructors. The summer in Toulouse was by far the best study abroad experience I've ever had.

My husband and I were just in Bordeaux, and I was telling him all about my fond memories of beautiful Toulouse and my lovely host mother. And as crazy as it is, looking back on it, I realize I also truly enjoyed my oral exam for my international-studies major. I think that exam prepared me for tough meetings with the management committee and presenting in front of groups, large and small. 

Tell us a little about your career.

I've been at Bloomberg for over 11 years in a variety of roles. Currently, I am the head of the Americas sales team for a newer product called Entity Exchange. I oversee the U.S. sales reps and account managers. We're responsible for new business and increasing usage of the product.

Because this is a new business, it is a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, and I don't really have a typical day—which I enjoy. I work with the other senior managers on solving business problems and coming up with and driving a strategy. I have a lot of meetings with my peers and my manager and rep teams to ensure we have transparency and good communication so that we achieve our goals. I visit clients with reps on my team for demos and training, and to gather feedback.

As a relatively senior woman manager, I am also involved in various initiatives to improve the number of women on teams and in various leadership roles, and I do a lot of mentoring and advising on career paths and development. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

My husband and I travel a fair amount, oftentimes to visit friends, most of whom I met at Dickinson! I also enjoy reading, being active, binge-watching shows (we're currently rewatching Game of Thrones), cooking, going to the movies and working on little projects around our apartment. Since we were married last year, I am really enjoying putting together photo albums for our family. I also like being involved in various Bloomberg volunteer projects, supporting a variety of philanthropic organizations and programs in NYC. I really enjoy mentoring, both on a formal and informal basis. 

How has Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education helped you?

I have been hiring people and building teams at Bloomberg since 2009, and I strongly believe that a liberal-arts education prepares people very well for the "real world." Right after college I was a paralegal, and I received feedback that the attorneys liked that I was always willing to ask questions, learned quickly, was adaptable and, most important, would admit to and learn from my mistakes. I think a liberal-arts education also prepared me for both my role at the law firm and my career at Bloomberg. This educational model teaches you how to communicate clearly, state your opinion and back it up properly and challenge the status quo. My professors forced us to think outside the box and be able to articulate an argument properly, both skills I think are essential in any career.

I used to run a global team, which meant that I built teams in Europe and Asia as well as managed and worked closely with people from other cultures. I think my extensive international educational experience was essential to being successful in this role. I studied abroad three times while at Dickinson (and once in high school), which made it very easy for me to be able to work well with people from different countries and be respectful of cultural and professional differences.

I think the emphasis on a global education at Dickinson also truly prepared me for my global role. Dickinson taught me that having a global perspective is essential in any aspect of life, and in this role, I was able to meet clients from all over the world, each with unique viewpoints and feedback. This was very valuable.

What inspired your gift to Dickinson?

I loved my Dickinson experience, and I plan to continue giving monthly as long as it is feasible. I made lifelong friendships and bonds while at Dickinson, and I truly believe Dickinson has opened doors for me and provided me with the education that has afforded me all of my professional success. 

Why do you feel it is important to give back to Dickinson?

I think everyone should reflect on why they are where they are and how they ended up there. I have to imagine that most alumni have a reason to thank Dickinson for being a positive impact on their lives. Even if they don't see it at first, they should reflect on their experience and how it led to where they are in their adult lives. Giving back to help others have that same great experience is the least we can do. 

What advice would you give to today’s students?

Be open to new experiences. Don't obsess over your resume and only do something because it looks good on paper. Many nontraditional experiences can apply in the "real world," so don't be afraid to talk about them. Do stuff that inspires you, and stay passionate. If you're not passionate, people can always tell. Be yourself and be confident about your strengths. Know when to ask for help, and be willing to put yourself out there. Make smart mistakes, and learn from them. Be self-reflective, and check in with yourself often. Work on your weaknesses and areas of development. No one is perfect, and you should be growing, adapting and evolving throughout your entire life. Learn how to take feedback gracefully, and then apply it. Seek out feedback, both positive and constructive, so you can always work on being the best version of yourself. 


Published July 2, 2021