Badlands NP

Well, I’ve made it through the first couple weeks of the Fall semester. It hasn’t been too bad. Besides dealing with my cold, it’s been downright pleasant. I was going through some photos from the epic summer of 2010. I came across this beautiful photo from Badlands National Park in South Dakota. I just felt compelled to share it. I’ve had a touch of the wanderlust lately and I feel like I should start thinking about my next travel adventure. Thankfully, I’ll be taking a microadventure up the North Shore this weekend to check out the start of the changing leaf colors.  You can check out my first and second trips to Badlands NP.

Badlands NP 2010

Summer Road Trip – Universities

Wow, this summer has just flown by! I’ve spent most of my time working (so many fun projects) and crafting, reading, and Netflix binging during my free time. In July, I went on vacation for 2 glorious weeks. I visited family and friends while roadtripping out to see my dear friend Kristen who lives in northeastern Ohio. I had great weather and great driving the whole time. My favorite accomplishment of the whole trip (and I think it earned admiration from many people) – not checking my work email the ENTIRE time I was out of the office. Talk about awesome.

Anyway, one of the accidental themes of my trip was Universities. I visited 5 of them. Yes, 5. I love checking out other campuses, walking around and taking photos. It’s rather relaxing. I visited St. Mary’s University and University of Notre Dame both in South Bend, IN, along with Kent State University, Baldwin-Wallace University (both in NE Ohio), and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As I was planning my trip, I purposefully scheduled a night to stay in South Bend, Indiana. It was a half-way point in my driving (Madison, WI-Akronish, OH) and it’s the home to the University of Notre Dame. Once I booked my hotel, I realized it was on the campus of St. Mary’s University – Notre Dame’s sister school. I walked around both university campuses and took so many photos. I had lovely weather, so I just soaked up the atmosphere at both places. Both universities are Catholic and I enjoyed seeing how the religious imagery was incorporated around campus.

St Mary's 1

St Mary’s University

St Mary's University

St Mary’s University

Notre Dame 1

Fighting Irish

Library at University of Notre Dame

Library at University of Notre Dame

Administration building at University of Notre Dame

Administration building at University of Notre Dame

Once I made it to Kristen’s she showed me around Kent State University, where she went to grad school and now works. Another beautiful campus. We also walked around the May 4th Memorial and I learned how such a painful part of the campus’s history is used and talked about to this day.

Kent State University

Kent State University

May 4th Memorial at Kent State

Part of the May 4th Memorial at Kent State

Later in my visit with Kristen, she took me around Baldwin-Wallace University near Cleveland where she did a stint as an intern during grad school. No great pictures from that visit because it was raining and we just drove through the campus.

The last campus I visited was UW-Madison. I met up with some friends on The Terrace of Memorial Union for a mini-ACPA reunion. It was nice to catch up with them. I also just enjoyed the summer weather, sitting by the lake, and walking around campus. I forgot how much I love the atmosphere of that campus. I worked at UW for a year during my grad school internship, but I didn’t totally get to enjoy working there. I was so busy with doing stuff for my internship (plus working another job, living a decent commute away, and finishing up grad school), that I didn’t really take advantage of being at UW. If I were ever to take the plunge back into working at a Division 1, Research institution, UW might be the place to do it. However, I have no plans on doing that anytime soon.



The Terrace & Lake Mendota at UW-Madison

The Terrace & Lake Mendota at UW-Madison

Overall, I loved this portion of my trip. My campuses visited list is now up to 24!

Announcements – Just want to wish a few fellow bloggers congratulations!

  • Laura started a new blogging venture called A Two Dog Life. Loving it already!
  • Stephanie welcomed a bundle of joy named George into the world.

3 Years a Bulldog

This week I’m celebrating my 3 year anniversary at UMD. All week I’ve been thinking about writing this post and have been struggling with what I want to write.

Me with champ

Yep, still struggling.

Here’s the nitty gritty. I love my job. I don’t know if I can really put it any other way so simply. 3 years in and I still feel challenged by my position. Challenged in a good way.

I’m excited to see where the next year takes me. The core of my work will be very similar to previous years and some of it will be different. I’m taking on some new roles including with the Commission for Women on campus and with our U of M Job Fair Committee. These new roles should be fun and I’ll get to do more work with people outside of my office.

Here’s to year 4!

Full Circle with my Undergrad Degree

As an undergrad, I earned a degree in Communication with a minor in Management from UW-Eau Claire. Could I have picked two broader topics to pair together? My emphasis in Communication was Organizational Communication, which is the study of how communication happens within an organization. Another way of looking at it is – the human side of business. Between my major and minor I pretty much studied the same topic, from two different schools of thought. It was fascinating at the time (and still is), and if I had to choose today, I’d probably minor in marketing. At the time of choosing the Comm/Mgmt combo, I had my heart set on going into Human Resources. I was a big fan of training and recruiting and wanted to do both of those things full-time. I had an epiphany about half-way through senior year that I didn’t want to go into HR anymore. My Organizational Change and Development class (aka: mergers and acquisitions) was what did it for me. I knew I could do the work, but that I wouldn’t love it. And that, the loving it part, was so important to me. So back to the drawing board I went. Luckily, I worked in Career Services so I had plenty of resources available to me to research what else I could do with my degree in Communication. The answer: pretty much anything (well, not really “anything,” but my options were pretty wide open). It was during this exploration process that I figured out I wanted to become a career counselor.


Even though I had to complete another degree after undergrad, I use my undergrad degree every. single. day. Here are my basic job duties: work with students 1:1 and in groups, run the office social media, and supervise students who work in the office. The beauty of my broad major/minor combo, is that I learned a broad range of skills that can adapt to the changing job economy needs. I thoroughly understand the process of communication, so I can easily apply it to different methods (in person, print, online, etc.). Management happens in practically every job environment in some fashion, so I was bound to come into a management role at some point in my career. Even my original HR intentions (recruiting & training), I do as a part of my current role. All of these awesome connections weren’t in my original job description (some were) when I was hired (being in a brand new position has allowed me to do some molding with what I do), but I have a supervisor who recognizes that I have strengths that aren’t strictly tied to higher education and career counseling. Yay!

Okay, now here’s the why for this post. I share this story with students a lot to show a couple things: that you don’t always end up where you initially intended, find a major that will help you achieve a broad range of skills, and to be careful with broad majors because you do have to add some definition to them to figure out what you want to do. You don’t have to have it all figured out at 18, or 22, or 30. Personally, I love that I’ve been able to make my two degrees work so well together. Of the career counselors who work in my office, I’m the only one who’s undergrad background isn’t psychology or education. I love that I bring a little bit different flavor to the work that I do with students.

How do you still use your earlier degree(s)?

Time by the Lake

Sunday was absolutely beautiful. Warm, cozy sunshine, a calm lake, and the itch to spend some time outside were all great reasons to do a small trip up the shore. I ventured up just past Two Harbors (about 20-25 miles north of Duluth) and just enjoyed the sunshine and some time by the water. Lake Superior was soooo calm. It was a picture perfect day.

Lake Superior FeetFlood Bay 6.2014

Fun with the Camera

Yesterday was such a beautiful day here in Duluth. The sunshine was very welcomed after 3 straight days of rain and fog. I grabbed my camera and drove down to the Rose Garden by the Lake after work. Some of the “early spring” flowers are in bloom right now. For me, having some time with my camera, walking around the Rose Garden, and sitting on the beach are all happy places for me. So relaxing. Not that my day was super stressful. :) Here are some of my favorite photos.

Yellow flower 2

Yellow flower 1

Yellow flower 3

water and rocks