Day In The Life: Shawn McGruder

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Shawn McGruder

Sr. Associate General Counsel/Principal EEO Officer | Section Supervisor, EEO Office

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Washington DC-Baltimore Area

4:00 am

I begin preparing responses to emails from yesterday or that arrived overnight (some colleagues with infants will send emails in the wee hours of the morning).

Female character washes in shower.
Naumova Marina /

5:00 am

I listen to news or a podcast. At the same time, I shower and dress for work, which is fewer than 15 minutes from my home in Columbia, Maryland (Laurel and Columbia are both Howard County suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland). On my way out of the house, I grab a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.

6:00 am

I arrive on campus, getting the best parking spot because of my early arrival, and proceed through the security checkpoint in the lobby of my office building.

6:15 am

I continue responding to outstanding email traffic and tend to administrative matters, such as organizing case files and updating spreadsheets and databases. I also thoroughly research witnesses (background/education and work history — internal and external to the organization) to prepare witness interview outlines. I also work on EEO training slides at this hour (sometimes, developing training slides gets pushed into my weekend).

7:00 am

I review EEO case law updates, legal research articles, and leadership articles from ACC ListServ and EEOC ListServ communications on recent developments in employment law — focusing mainly on discrimination and reasonable accommodation, which are pertinent to my role.

7:30 am

I share cases or articles of interest with my fellow employment law practitioners and the general counsel for their information and appropriate action — discussing how these key learnings could apply to cases or issues in our queue.

8:00 am

Stretch break — walking to the café for a breakfast sandwich or bowl of oatmeal, eaten at my desk, where I continue preparing for my upcoming morning interviews and meetings.

Young woman doing stretching while working.
nikaniki /

8:30 am

Entertain impromptu questions from the deputy and assistant EEO officers concerning matters they handle within the EEO and reasonable accommodation portfolios.

9:00 am

Internal team meetings continue.

10:00 am

Morning meetings and witness interviews continue.

Worker using computer for collective virtual meeting, group video conference.
Alena Nv /

11:00 am

Morning meetings and witness interviews continue. If no meetings are scheduled, I respond to any of the morning’s incoming emails and phone calls missed during morning meetings.

12:00 pm

Walk to a campus café to grab lunch, which is very important to me as a pre-diabetic.

Young people characters dinning and working in modern cafe.
Irina Strelnikova /

12:30 pm

Return to my desk to eat lunch while responding to any of the morning’s missed emails and phone calls.

1:00 pm

Prepare witness outlines and other necessary preparations for afternoon meetings. Often, my meeting schedules require me to prepare these outlines on Saturdays or Sunday mornings before church service.

2:00 pm

Afternoon meetings and interviews begin. I also deliver supervisory EEO or refresher training a few times monthly.

Business woman giving presentation in conference room.
Amanita Silvicora /

3:00 pm

Afternoon meetings and interviews continue. Again, I also deliver supervisory EEO or refresher training a few times monthly.

4:00 pm

Prepare dismissals and investigative reports. Again, my meeting schedules often require me to prepare these reports on Saturdays and Sundays.

5:00 pm

Go to the gym, primarily for group exercise (e.g., cardio kickboxing, strength training, and yoga).

Unitone Vector /
Hand holding remote control and watching breaking news on TV.
denvitruk /
Grilled salmon fillet fish on plate.
Maria Korikova /

8:00 pm

Dinner and evening news. On of my favorite dinners consists of baked salmon, Brussels sprouts, and a garlic breadstick.

9:00 pm

Fell asleep (from exhaustion). I should be more intentional about “going to bed” instead of resting my eyes on a TV program only to awaken at 3 a.m.

03:00 – 04:00 am

My body clock awakens me, and a new day begins.

Happy young woman awakening at morning.
BRO.vector /

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