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Career Services Spotlight Transcripts

Transcript: Advancing from an Administrative Position into a Leadership Role

RECORDING OF: YouTube Video Career Spotlight: Jennifer Farinella Olson

TRANSCRIBED: May 22, 2015

FOR: Walden University


(Nicolle): Hello. I'm Nicolle Skalski, Career Services advisor at Walden University. I would like to introduce Jennifer Farinella Olson. A Walden alumni and employee who advanced from an administrative position into a leadership role by joining committees, presenting at conferences, and using Career Services resources to build her brand. She shares her story with us.

(Jennifer): My name is Jennifer Farinella Olson. I completed the masters of public policy program at Walden. I am currently the team lead for the military services office here at Walden. So I started as a senior administrative assistant, working for a local insurance agency here in Minnesota. And I recognized the fact that I wanted to pursue education further and I felt more comfortable in the academic setting, so I began working here, at Walden, as a academic operations assistant within the College of Social Behavioral Sciences. And I found on that team, some opportunities for myself to join committees here at work. There's a community building program here that emphasizes the social change mission of Walden. I joined that. That was a lot of fun. And that led to my joining for the United Way campaign. I was the co-chair here. And through my insurance, working through the College of Social Behavior Sciences, I felt in love with the master's of policy program. It fit perfectly with my undergrad at which was in Political Science, so I pursued the masters of public policy. Position opened here in the military services team. And I applied, and I have worked there for about a year, and now have just received my recent promotion to team lead. I have recently presented at the NACADA regional conference, region 6 regional conference. And I will be presenting at the national NACADA Conference in October. NACADA National Academic Advising Association. I wanted to make sure that I was in the best place and building up my resumé accordingly. And so I recognize an opportunity with NACADA. I submitted a proposal, and it was accepted, and then I went and attended. What I have found really helpful to market and brand myself along this path, is the career resources that I found in the career services site here at Walden. Through my course in my masters of public policy, I was able to start and build my resumé, using Optimal Resumé and I was also able to build a personalized website, and I have used both of those items on my LinkedIn page to build my brand. And it's turned out to be really successful. I think that my, professional development has benefited Walden because I'm able to go out -- and -- and teach -- presentations I'm giving are about our military service members, and I think it -- it's a good step in the mission of social change to -- to teach other universities. To teach the others in academic community about our military service members, and their service, and what it means for them to come to school. I am most passionate in my current position about serving our military service members. They do so much for so many, and I feel very passionate and lucky that I'm able to share the experiences that I've learned through them, and also, hopefully, make a difference in helping them succeed with their education here at Walden.


[This text is being provided in a rough-draft format to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings]