Where are you working and what do you do there?
I am working at the Wisconsin Youth Company in Madison, Wisconsin as their Program Resource Manager. Our company runs after school programs and summer programs for many Madison Area schools. I am in charge of a lot of the technology resources (cell phones, walkie talkies), snack/milk for all the programs, other resources (name tags, swim wristbands, first aid kits, etc.) and reviewing any health concerns of children in our program.
What is your typical work day like?
I don't really have a typical work day. There are crunch times right before Summer programming starts and School Year programming starts that I am working on health reviews constantly, but otherwise I am ordering supplies that we need, making sure that we have anything the program directors and supervisors could need. Many times camp directors, supervisors and others come to me throughout the day asking for more of something, and I am here to make sure we have that and can get it to them.
What path did you take to your current career, were there other jobs along the way?
I always knew I wanted to do something with kids, and after graduating I started working with a therapy program for kids with Autism. While working doing the therapy, I also picked up a job at Old Navy just for extra money, and quickly got promoted to help with the store remodel. This experience was of more value than I could have imagined. Then I decided that I wanted to see what a behind the scenes job was like, rather than working directly with the kids. Without the experience from Old Navy, I don't think I would be where I am now. You never know when a job that you take on a whim for extra cash could lead to something bigger and better!
How did your liberal arts education at UW-Eau Claire help prepare you for your career?
Having a liberal arts education has helped me tons! My current job has me doing so many things, including working with technology, health, surveys, reports. If it weren't for the variety of classes I took for my liberal education, I think it would be more difficult to fill all of the roles I have in this job. Having the liberal arts education also helped me become more diverse which has helped me relate to others much more easily.
Is there something more you wish you would have done in college to prepare for your career?
I wish I would have seized every opportunity I had. Looking back, the only thing I regret is not doing more things. I wish I had taken the opportunity to study abroad, and get an internship, as both of those would have been awesome experiences that could have helped me so much. The opportunities that I did take advantage of (collaborating with a Professor and another student on a research project, being an SAA for some of my professors, being a Resident Assistant in the Residence Halls) are where I gained the most and best experience during college.
What advice do you have for UW-Eau Claire students to become successful in their own careers?
Not to be repetitive, but my advice is to take advantage of every opportunity you can. You never know how it could help you in the future!