Current Job Title:
Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity
Describe your current job:
As the Executive Assistant, I support all of the departments within the organization: community relations, volunteer services, homeowner services, construction operations, and the Habitat ReStore. Most of the time I am doing administrative work for these departments. Sometimes I go to the construction sites to help build and coordinate site sponsorships. When needed, I help out with sales and moving furniture at the Habitat ReStore.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is getting to work with and learn from so many hard-working and motivated individuals: our homeowners, volunteers, and my coworkers. The most challenging part of my job would be having to sit at a desk in an office for a long period of time, Monday through Friday.
What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?
When I transferred to WMU from the U.S. Naval Academy, I joined FOCUS Kalamazoo, a volunteer organization. Being a part of this organization for three years, helping it grow and develop, gave me a lot of experience in leadership and community service. Through FOCUS I volunteered with many non-profits around Kalamazoo. When graduation was not so far away, I knew that I had to continue my work with these non-profits; therefore, I asked one of the FOCUS Board members to take and review my resume with their employer (Habitat for Humanity). Because of this connection and my experience, I was offered the position before I even graduated. It is my involvement with the community that continuously pushes me: the next step is applying to graduate schools to earn my Master's of Public Policy and Administration.
What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college?
It is important to know that you will change your mind over and over again, and that is completely normal. I changed my mind four times before I graduated and ended up with a degree for a field that I don't plan on being in anymore. Do not focus too much on your degree setting you up for your career; choose what you love to study and get involved with organizations that help you develop into a well-rounded person. Your degree can help you get a job, but it is the combination of all that you do (and doing it well) that helps you create a career.