Where I began.
Sometimes being in college feels fairly recent, and sometimes it feels far away. I graduated from college in 1997 and really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Graduating with a BA in History without a teaching license does not scream, “Follow this clearly marked path!” I don’t think I ever visited the career services department at my university, let alone even know where it was located. This lack of clarity on my future led me back to a landscaping job I had done the summer before. While it was great to do real physical work for another summer, I knew this was not my long term career.
Eventually, toward the end of summer, I almost severed my finger off in a job site accident. This nudged me to figure out what my next step was professionally. After thinking through some options, it I started as a temporary claims processor at Prudential Insurance. It was every bit as boring as it sounded. Here I was 22 years old, doing some very light financial accounting after making my way through college with the minimum required math classes – oh the irony.
Where I went.
After Prudential I moved out to Washington, DC and served as an intern and then a full-time staff assistant for a US Senator on Capitol Hill. The next couple of years were a fantastic experience living in one of my favorite cities alongside the people who were making the laws for our great country. Eventually my DC experience ran its course and I headed back to Minnesota to start a Masters program.
That turned into a job that led me to becoming a Director of Admissions at the school I was studying at. 14 years flies by; jobs and responsibilities increase, but again there is a sense that change is afoot. I decided to join a small consulting firm I co-founded years earlier to do business development, training and consulting. As with many things in life, there are just times when you know you need to move on.
Where I am.
In June of last summer I decided focus on finding a new job and eventually connected with Campus. I remember when my now boss called me and we had a chat about what they were up to and how I might be able to help expand their market share in the United States. You see, we are a company that was founded by two Australians and over the past five years they have done an amazing job of spreading Campus throughout many universities down under.
So with the job market in a great place and a number of good possibilities to look at – why did I choose to pursue Campus?
Why I’m here.
1. Campus is a digital campus platform built specifically for colleges and universities. Campus makes it much easier for students to connect and interact with their university’s community and keeps them updated on the things most important to their success. Understanding what Campus was doing and wanted to do more of at colleges & universities was exciting to me as the hiring process moved forward. I saw a good blend of my experience in higher education and sales coming together in something that was forward thinking and constantly innovating for further impact.
2. Higher Education is a challenging, but exciting space. Disruptive innovation is happening whether schools like it or not. With the cost of education continuing to outpace the average family income – something has to change. I was excited that Campus was a product that was helping schools innovate in the space. To have a chance to help schools retain students at a higher level, enhance the experience of students in an ever more digital world was an exciting prospect. This really drew me to push the possible opportunity with Campus ahead of other options.
3. Working for Campus would be an opportunity for me to work in a thriving, nimble startup and connecting clients to an enterprise SAAS product. So much of what we do now is digital. Software impacts our lives more than we are even aware. The chance to move into the software & tech space was a chance to broaden my horizons and ultimately impact my career prospects moving forward. Selling SAAS (Software as a service) is not for the faint of heart, but it is exciting and takes an intelligent approach driven by relationships. I certainly don’t have this all figured out quite yet but everyday I learn new things.
It is fun to periodically look back and see where you have ended up. My time at Campus is a story that is still being written. I have no regrets about joining this exciting, growing company that is determined to help improve part of the higher education landscape. I am really grateful and thankful for this opportunity.
My question to you is, why did you decide to work for your company?