Seniors

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What’s it like to be a…Librarian?

My job title is:  Instruction Librarian
My actual position is:  Reference librarian and coordinator of instruction

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?
We have pretty standard work hours (8-5) year-round, although all ten librarians take turns working evening and Saturday shifts.  We are busiest during the academic year; it is very quiet in the library during the summer, but I am usually involved with larger, more time-consuming projects.  In addition to regular shifts at the reference desk (about 6-8 hours a week), my primary responsibilities are teaching English 101 research sessions and the administrative tasks involved with coordinating all the instruction the library provides on campus (workshops, lunch sessions, etc).  Another area of responsibility is collection development; the faculty members choose most of the books and individual journal titles for the library, but the librarians select the research databases and reference materials. And we also “fill in the gaps” for the book collection in our assigned subject areas.  I spend quite a bit of time in meetings as well: we average about two internal staff and/or librarian meetings a week, which take about 5 hours total, and I also have periodic meetings with other campus committees. 

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 02/17 at 09:45 AM
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What’s it like to be a…Dean of Students?

My job title is:  Dean of Student Development

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?
My daily schedule has some consistencies with regular one-on-one meetings with my staff or weekly committee meetings but also varies from week to week depending upon the time of year and the responsibilities I have for that time of the semester.  I tend to have one-on-one meetings with my staff in the mornings. I often attend chapel and eat lunch on-campus.  And typically, my afternoons are filled with committee meetings, appointments with students and attending to other details of my work (reading, e-mail, etc.).

What other, if any, positions have you held prior to your current job? How did you get to where you are now? 
I got my start as a Resident Assistant (RA) in college.  A couple years after I graduated, in large part due to my enjoyment of being an RA, I began graduate school in higher education administration while also serving as a Resident Director (RD).  I have continued working in higher education ever since.  I am in my 11th year here at Calvin (not including the 2 years after completing my masters degree, when I worked here as an RD).  Prior to this I was Dean of Student Development at Malone College for 9 years.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 02/11 at 11:54 AM
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Top Ten Career Things To Do Over Christmas Break

With visions of home cooked food and plenty of break time dancing through sleep-deprived minds of many college seniors, little thought is typically given to job searching over the holidays.
This year more than ever, though, maximizing the next few weeks can catapult one to the head of the line come January.
So here’s a list of strategies to do just that. Otherwise known as—-
Top Ten Career Things To Do Over Christmas Break
1. Begin visualizing the new you: an employed professional.
2. Take your research skills to the newspaper. Check the business section and classifieds for trends and ideas. Sample questions to ask: what businesses are profiled? Which sectors seem to be running the most ads? What qualities, outside of narrow technical skills, are they looking for? What terms do they use to describe those qualities?
3. Refine your job target. No clue? Schedule career testing and a follow up test interpretation appointment with a career counselor immediately upon returning to campus.
4. Construct or reconstruct your resume if you don’t already have one.
5. Assess resume additions for spring semester. There’s still time to volunteer, get work published on campus, become part of a professional organization, pick up further job and/or internship experience.
6. Purchase interviewing clothes at post-Christmas sales. Wear them to get accustomed to the look and feel.
7. Use social gatherings to network. Let anyone and everyone—your dentist, church members, friends of your parents, recent grads living in your city—know you’re looking.
8. Shadow someone at home who’s working in your field. Or conduct an informational interview to see what your dream career is really like.
9. Build your web presence. Clean up Facebook and set up Linkedin.
10. Establish an end-of-break goal. Meeting it will confirm the feeling that your job search has begun in earnest. 

 

 

Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 12/16 at 01:24 PM
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What’s it like to be a….Registered Nurse?

My job title is: Registered Nurse
My actual position is: Acute Care Staff Nurse on a medical-surgical orthopedic floor

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?

A typical day for me actually starts at around 7pm.  When the new shift comes on, we receive ‘report’ from the previous shift.  This lets us know more about the patients than we can find out by just looking at their charts.  After report, we assess each patient and pass out any evening medications they might need.  We also help them get ready for bed, which can mean helping them wash their back or face and brushing their teeth.  With a little bit of luck most of them will be able to get some sleep, but the rest of the night consists of rounding on each patient at least every hour, re-assessing at midnight, and passing morning medications starting around 5am.  Nurses are the “eyes and ears” of the doctor, so if we catch something going wrong with a patient or if we need to have a medication changed, we have to page the doctor in the middle of the night and inform them and then take and implement any new orders they may give.  I usually leave around 7:30am.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 11/25 at 10:37 AM
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What’s it like to be a….Lab Coordinator?

My job title is: Laboratory Coordinator
My actual position: Glorified Lab Assistant/Facilities Manager

What does a normal day look like?  Is it consistent throughout the year?  If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed? 
On a normal day I start about a half hour before the rest of the lab gets in and my day doesn’t end until about a half hour after everyone else leaves.  During much of it, I am at the desk answering emails, scheduling and maintaining calendars, and calling vendors to either fix equipment or handle delivery problems. But a good portion also includes assisting the department with personnel problems.
It is consistent throughout the year for the most part.  When my laboratory started, we didn’t have any divisions like Human Resources or Finance Administration, or even IT.  I was the person people talked to for problems in these areas.  As we’ve grown, we’ve hired more and more experts in these fields.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 11/19 at 04:21 PM
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What’s it like to be a….social worker?

My job title is: Outreach and Assessment Coordinator

My actual position: I’m in a social work agency, where I chair the department responsible for the intake of clients.

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?
Most days look about the same, although there are always surprises. Our agency operates in people’s homes, so there’s a lot of driving, and then when I get back to the office, there’s a lot of paperwork. I also supervise three other people, so each day involves some time spent with them reviewing their work. The busiest time for me is the end of the month when I have to submit data about our monthly activities to the state. Our agency is funded by the state of New York, so I have to prove to them that we’re accomplishing enough to merit the money. This involves a lot of paperwork.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 11/19 at 04:13 PM
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What’s it like to be a…Senior Art Director?

My job title is: Senior Art Director
My actual position is: senior art director, graphic designer, photo/video director, copywriter, strategic consultant, product designer, event promotions, illustrator, teacher, public speaker, etc

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?

A typical day starts with a check-in with our production “traffic” coordinator to find out what projects are hot and if there’s anything that’s changed that I need to be aware of. Then, check emails, open up design programs on my Mac and start working the projects. That could mean brainstorming with a group or alone, researching, idea generating, creating sketches or designs, updating designs, making changes the client’s requested, printing copies and making prototypes, working with a copywriter, going on a photoshoot, traveling to meet with a client, presenting creative ideas or designs to a client, or sending something to be published.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 11/18 at 05:19 PM
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What’s it like to be a….financial advisor?

My job title is: Financial Advisor
My actual position is:  Most people would refer to my job as a “Stock Broker” but because it includes much more than merely stocks, “Financial Advisor” is a more appropriate title.

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?
In a typical day I arrive in my office before the stock or bond markets open and begin by game planning my day.  As in most jobs, a clear plan of which goals to accomplish on a particular day keep me focused on the tasks at hand.  Once I have a plan of action for the day, I generally read about the happenings of the stock market and the general news.  I do not read about the news and the markets for merely enjoyment but so that I am continually educated and ready to help lead my clients with current pertinent information.  Keeping an eye on the ever changing news is also important throughout the day.  Typical tasks for any given day include phone calls to and meetings with both current and prospective clients to jointly find clarity in their investment paths.  Prior to every phone call or appointment I review the client’s account so that I feel more fully prepared to answer their questions or concerns.  It is also good to remind myself prior to every discussion that is important to understand that the investments being discussed are my client’s assets, and it is their wishes and desires that must be followed, not my intentions.  Another task to have on my to-do list is to look to the future to continually add new clients and assets to my book of business.  Over the past few years I have improved the efficiencies of what is accomplished, but the standard practice remains the same.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 11/11 at 10:50 AM
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Monday, November 03, 2008

What’s it like to be a….Registered Dietitian?

My job title is: Registered Dietitian (RD)
My actual position is: Coordinator of Corporate Wellness & Sustainability

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?

My position as a Registered Dietitian for a food service management company is somewhat unique.  I travel to around the country and provide nutrition education, menu, sanitation, and sustainability planning for my company’s accounts.  My position has changed quite a bit since I took it six years ago.  As environmental concerns have gained attention, many companies were called to action, including mine.  I became the coordinator of our sustainability program, which was a big challenge as this wasn’t exactly part of the curriculum when I attended school.  I’ve learned that the environment and nutrition are even more intrinsically linked than I originally thought and that has greatly influenced how I look at food and nutrition.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 11/03 at 11:15 AM
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What’s it like to be an….ELS Instructor/Academic Counselor?

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed? 
I’ve only been in this job for two months – and I’m loving it!  I teach an English class that is specifically designed for international students so we talk about American academic culture, culture shock, and how to juxtapose home cultures with school cultures.  This class meets three times a week for one hour.  The rest of my time is spent meeting with students who are on academic probation, advising my English students, and designing my next lesson.  Each day is different.  This job is only a ½ time job, but I spend most of my day at work creating and developing ideas.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 11/03 at 11:10 AM
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What’s it like to be a….Orthotist?

My job title is: Certified Orthotist
My actual position is: Director

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?
A normal day consists of seeing patients, where I evaluate the patient according to the prescription; measure, cast and fit the patient. I instruct the patient on wear and care of their device. I may also fabricate or adjust the device in the lab. I may order products and check products in that were ordered.  Everyday is consistent, but it feels different because of all of the different patients I see each day. The patients will range from newborns to geriatrics. Once the patient leaves your office, then I have to dictate my notes for the patient’s chart.  The longer you are in a position, the more responsibility you acquire and the more the patients become familiar with you as well as doctors and other healthcare workers.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 10/21 at 10:47 AM
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Monday, October 13, 2008

What’s it like to be an…Occupational Therapist?

My job title is: Occupational Therapist

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?
A normal day as a staff therapist consists of evaluating and treating patients. This is consistent throughout the year. Things have changed in health care and time spent with each patient has become much less in the clinic. There is a greater focus on home exercise programming and the role of the therapist is as much that of an educator of disease and treatment as it is a therapist.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 10/13 at 03:34 PM
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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What’s it like to be an…Accountant?

My job title is: Senior Tax Analyst

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?

It’s hard to describe a normal day because every day is different. I rarely have consecutive days where I’m working on the same thing. There are constant interruptions, new projects, research items, etc. that arise on a daily basis. My general responsibilities include reviewing complex and specialized federal and state tax returns, researching various tax issues, preparing technical memorandums, identifying tax planning opportunities, and staying current on new corporate tax law and regulations. Because my company is publicly traded, we are required to issue quarterly financial statements which involve quarterly computations of our effective rate and deferred tax assets and liabilities.  My company also owns over 80 domestic and international subsidiaries that are part of our consolidated financials so I work closely with the controllers regarding tax compliance and proper reporting of tax related items on their financial statements. Virtually every transaction results in a tax impact so there is never a shortage of work or opportunities to learn. . 

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 10/07 at 09:41 AM
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What’s it like to be a….Retail Manager?

My job title is: In Store Lingo—-Executive Team Lead/Guest Experience
In English: Assistant Store Manager in charge of guest experience

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed?

My job does not have a “normal” day. My peers and I rotate on what we call an LOD or Leader on Duty shift. This means I am in charge of the entire store and what takes place that day. I am in charge of how it looks, responding to guest complaints and compliments, driving sales and credit conversion, as well as making sure my team shows up to work and is having a fun yet productive day.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/30 at 02:40 PM
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Monday, September 22, 2008

What’s it like to be a…Horticulture Therapy Program Manager?

My actual position is: Horticultural Therapist – I DO it, not just manage it. I also manage – motivate and encourage – volunteers.

What does a normal day look like? Is it consistent throughout the year? If you’ve had this position for a while, how have things changed? 
There is no normal day.  Every day is full of surprises because the 24 female alcohol and drug rehab clients have multiple diagnoses, including mental health issues.  They are young in terms of development, angry, ashamed, and reactive.  HT is activity driven – the activities will vary by week and season.  In the setting with veterans, each day is different because the clients are different day to day in terms of pain, fears, medical concerns, and the “mood” of the facility which varies day to day. 

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/22 at 03:55 PM
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