Current Job Title:
Project Director of eSports and Senior Director of IT
Western Michigan University
Describe your current job:
I'm head of IT for WMU's Office of Business and Finance division. In addition, I'm a leader and co-creator of the WMU eSports program. I was awarded project funding from President Montgomery’s Transformational Initiative Fund with the shared idea of creating an eSports arena at WMU in 2018. Once the funding was awarded, eSports@WMU was born and I was picked to lead the effort as the Project Director of the eSports initiative.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is to work with the 75-student member eSports team on campus. Not only do we plan, support, and run events together, but I get to use my multiple years of experience from being a student to an employee, gathering and educating students on all the important programs on campus. From tutoring, counseling, and assistance programs, to meeting with students individually and helping them find solutions to issues they are having. The most challenging part of the job is staying connected with the eSports student leadership team. But utilizing tools like the popular gamer app Discord helps.
What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?
My master's classes in educational technology have prepared me for the role I now have at WMU. In addition, the vast resources WMU offers and talking with my professors made a big difference in my career choices. When I was a student, I utilized the math tutoring lab, career counseling, and meeting with professors when I was working on my degrees. Once I graduated with my undergrad from WMU I worked for 2 Fortune 500 companies (Kellogg's and Whirlpool). But it took coming back to WMU earning my master’s and becoming a staff member to finally find my career niche and a job that I enjoy.
What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?
My advice for students is to go to class every day and seek help when you need it. WMU has a vast amount of resources to help students during their time here. In addition, find a career and job you love and don't give up until you get there. My parents told me playing videos games would never get me anywhere, but now I help lead one of the largest college eSports programs in the Midwest. Your hard work, persistence, and degree from WMU will pay off sooner than you think.