Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What’s it like to be a….Business and Estate Planning Attorney?

What does a normal day look like?
I usually arrive at the office between 7:30 and 8 am. Unless I have early appointments, I spend the first hour or so of each day reading e-mails and other information that has arrived from other sources. There are a few websites—one on tax law, for example—that I visit during this time each day to get caught up on any changes in the law. I rarely go out for lunch; I grab some fruit and a snack or two at my desk toward noontime. I try to leave the office by 5 pm; evenings are family time whenever possible. In between, I attend to client tasks: preparing wills and other documents for folks who need estate planning work, reviewing contracts for folks who need business work, and communicating with clients by phone and e-mail about such things. Some days I will work with people who need help setting up corporations or limited liability companies; other days will bring the drafting or revision of business acquisition or real estate purchase agreements.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 11/18 at 05:15 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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Monday, September 08, 2008

What’s it like to be a…Personal Trainer?

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?
The life of a personal trainer changes from day to day depending on the time of the year, the day of the week, and also the responsibilities you have for the day.  Summers for personal trainers can often be slow due to the nice weather and summer vacations.  During the fall the gym picks up and people are more into being fit for the next few months to come (which makes no sense to me when you’re all covered up in the fall and winter).
On a normal day I will arrive at the gym 15 minutes before my first client.  When I arrive, I normally check the client’s file to go over what we did during the last session and plan for the next one.  For the most part, you know what you’re going to do with the client but you need to get it down on paper so the workout has a flow to it.  The times when your clients schedule their training sessions will determine if you have breaks in your day or if you’re seeing people back to back.
During down time you can workout, run errands, or just prep for the next client. 

On some days the trainers are required to work on the floor at the gym, doing a variety of tasks.  Things like cleaning the gym and equipment, assisting others, and just hanging out in the gym for help if needed.

Now when I first started out at the gym, my biggest thing was trying to meet new people and introduce myself so that people could get to know me.  This was a time for me to show them what I could offer them as a personal trainer.  Once I started working with clients, the people that I trained started to refer clients to me and that is how I get most of my business now.  As times goes on, you no longer work on the floor as often due the fact that most of your time spend at the gym is with clients. 

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/08 at 01:56 PM
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What’s it like to be a…Human Relations/Labor Relations Manager?

My actual position is: HR/Labor Relations Manager and I am also responsible for Safety and Hourly Employment activities.

What does a normal day look like?
Up at 4:30 a.m., drive to work at 5:30 a.m., thank the Good Lord for all of His blessings and another wonderful day. To work by 6:00 a.m., get coffee and fire up laptop, check Lotus Notes, voice mail and then start my day. No two days are the same, what happens from 6:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. just depends… When you are in the “People Business” you have to just roll with it. Being in HR/LR, your customer is anyone who walks through the door with an issue or problem. It is important to welcome them and focus all of your attention on them and their issues. You must make them feel they are the most important person at that moment. Be positive, calm and polite. The phone, the computer and others at the door can all wait. Always remember to try and walk in the other person’s shoes to try and understand their issues or perspectives.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/08 at 01:39 PM
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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What’s it like to be a….School Social Worker?

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 for me consists of seeing kids in the school setting who need counseling services for social and emotional concerns or behavioral problems. I also meet with teachers on a regular basis to talk about concerns they have regarding students.  I then can offer suggestions and a variety of accommodations and modifications that the teacher can make in their classroom to help that student be more successful. I also spend a large amount of time attending IEP meetings for students who require special education services.

School social work has changed over the years in the sense that school social workers are not pulling kids out on a regular basis from class for counseling sessions. We are now looking to work collaboratively with teachers in the classroom setting to help their students be successful within their learning environment without having to be removed from class for long periods of time.

School social workers also need to be extremely proficient and up to date with the latest special education initiatives and laws as a large part of your role is leading and facilitating IEP meetings for special education students. At these meetings, you help the special education team decide which services are most appropriate for the student in the school setting to best help them be academically and socially successful. 

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/02 at 10:49 AM
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What’s it like to be a ...Water Treatment Engineer?

My job title is:
Leadership Program Associate

My actual position is:
Manager Trainee, Water Treatment Engineer. I also occasionally help with sales of specialty water treatment chemicals and capital (water treatment) equipment.

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?

Writing reports, running tests on water, meeting with customers.  It’s pretty consistent throughout the year.  I’ve had this position for almost 21 months and continue to pick up more and more responsibility in dealing with customers.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/02 at 10:25 AM
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Monday, August 18, 2008

What’s it like to be an ....Independent Consultant?

My job title is:  President/Owner
My actual position is (if this differs from job title): Independent Consultant at present time. 
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 starts out with reviewing results of marketing programs from prior day/week. Review information reports from research or database analysis.  Review program results summaries from completed database marketing programs.  Review (and approve) pro forma ROI plans for upcoming direct marketing activities, including discussion of test plans and test investment.  Many days include meetings with product development (for research), line management (customer satisfaction measures), IT (for projects/problems being addressed) and direct marketing teams in Marketing.  Most weeks there is a meeting/update for senior managers.  Special projects require meetings with various members of senior and mid level managers.

Often I met with outside vendors to learn about new information available for the customer database, or new statistical techniques that can help group customers for improved marketing performance.

 

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 08/18 at 01:23 PM
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What’s it like to be a ....Director of Curriculum and 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? 
Everyday is different. I might be doing “administrivia”(creating budgets, investigating textbooks for purchase, keeping up with current state GLCEs or HSCEs, acting as the district contact for MEAP and MME), training teachers, modeling lessons in classrooms, planning with school improvement teams, working with building principals, etc.  Over the last few years, we have become much more focused on data; using the data from certain tests to help us to make good instructional decisions.  A great deal of my job has become gathering and interpreting data for principals and school improvement teams. The use of technology has exploded and trying to keep teachers up to date with shrinking funds has been a challenge.

What other, if any, positions have you held prior to your current job? How did you get to where you are now? 
I was at preschool teacher and director for 15 years, then I taught Kindergarten and 1st grade for another 14 years.  At the end of my career, I was an elementary principal (K-4) and finally, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for a 3500-student district. (All except the preschool part of my career has been in the same district.)

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 08/18 at 01:03 PM
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