Year of Graduation: 2007
Job Title: Training Systems Maintenance Specialist, Anasazi Software, Phoenix, AZ
Please give a brief description of your current position and what your work entails.
Anasazi creates software for behavioral healthcare and substance abuse clinics. This involves a complete conversion from a clinic's current database to our cutting edge software. This involves in-depth employee training on-site, nationwide, over a 9-12 month period. I specialize in the tools used to train the clinic's employees in our new software environment before going "live" with their crucial data.
What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
Through ventures in my personal life, I was given the opportunity to re-locate to Phoenix. Having been born and raised in Maple Grove, MN and journeying only "down the road" to St. Ben's, I grabbed the opportunity with open arms. Before the big move I made two visits to Phoenix, having set up interviews for 7 different positions, all of which I lined up through peer networking. One by one, nothing was panning out! Having committed to a May 1st move date to make the 23 hour drive to Phoenix and all my belongings shipped via semi, I had no choice but to move with no position lined up - not recommended!
Extremely motivated, my full-time job became networking every available avenue whether it be an information interview or having coffee with someone to simply make a connection - networking, networking, networking! With interviews now totaling 12 and still no job, I decided to fly home for the sole purpose of visiting the CSB Career Center. How had I not taken advantage of St. Ben's resources?! With the help of Mary Harlander-Locke, I used the CANE database to find all CSB/SJU alums living in the Phoenix area-a whole mess of network opportunities! I sent out an email blast to all the Valley alums "CSB/SJU Alum in Phoenix Seeking Employment," which included my cover letter and resume. I was blown away by the number of people who reached out interested to help in any way they could-again, whether it be an interview or simply passing my resume along to their network of people. While working at a part-time job I found to make ends meet, I got a call from a woman at a company I'd never heard of, asking me to come in for an interview. An already long story short, a Johnnie alum at Anasazi passed along my email to HR. Two interviews later they brought me on board!
What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in relocating to a new geographic location?
In today's economy, my opinion is that networking is the only way to go. Don't be shy to reach out to those around you. Send them a prepared cover letter and resume letting them know you would greatly appreciate if they'd pass it along to their network. You'd be surprised how many people that can amount to. As a result of my email blast to the Phoenix alums, the CSB Alumnae Connections was inspired to get us sun-seekers in the valley together for more networking (really, just for some drinks and sharing memories of our wild days on campus)! For me, networking not only landed me a career, but has been a great way to meet some good 'ol Midwesterners here in Phoenix, my new home away from home.
What are the most challenging and satisfying parts of your job?
I work primarily with highly-educated and experienced individuals twice my age. Learning to present myself in a mature and professional manner makes that age gap insignificant, allowing us to be cohesive in our business relationships. These relationships are very satisfying in the sense that I am learning from the best and will be given great opportunities for growth within the company.
What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for your current career?
Career fairs and networking opportunities in college always seemed like a waste of time to me. Yet this last year, when my life depended on it, I pulled out my box of all the networking, job searching, career 'tips' pamphlets and flyers I'd ever gotten from those functions and found such valuable information. CSB/SJU has taken great lengths to give students the tools they will need when entering the business world. Any help you can get is important in today's economy! Take advantage of such functions, as well as the on-campus resources before you pack your bags after graduation.