Let The Job Choose You

Written on 6:32 AM by Xavier Career Development

The thought of joining the “real world” is an exciting, yet scary and stressful idea to ponder.  For that reason I figured it would be helpful to hear about the experience from a recent Xavier grad.  Leslie Boersma graduated from Xavier in May 2012 with a degree in organizational communications and a minor in psychology.  She now works full time as a special events coordinator at the Children’s Hospital Foundation in Colorado.  Here’s what she had to say about her first grown up job!

After talking to Leslie and hearing how much she enjoys what she is doing, my first question was how did she manage to land this coveted position so early in her career?  She told me it was a long journey but it started by simply following what she loves. 

Leslie described to me that her first experience with a non-profit organization was when she volunteered at a Make-A-Wish Foundation event her senior year at X.  That opened her eyes to the concept of raising money for a good cause through fun events.  After learning more about the culture and dynamic of non-profits, she knew that field was something she wanted to be a part of.  Then, after graduation Leslie returned home to Colorado and got a job working at a camp for children with life threatening illnesses. 

I asked her about that experience and she joked, “Well I think essentially they were paying me to be there because the pay was that bad.  But that part did not matter for me because I loved it so much and I was able to constantly meet families, children, and doctors who were involved at the Children’s Hospital which ultimately was where I wanted to be.”  Leslie explained that her experience in the field and her networking opportunities were the difference that allowed her to stand out and land her event coordinating position. 

Leslie is part of a special events team that manages 90-120 events per year.  Her typical daily responsibility is to foster the relationships that go along with event fundraising.  A few of Leslie’s responsibilities include: taking on volunteer recruitment and management, assisting the families with their donation process, and connecting with local community organizations to find ways for them to help.  

“It doesn’t feel like work when I get to work with women I consider friends.  On top of that, I get to plan fun events like golf tournaments, marathons, and fashion shows that raise millions of dollars to save children’s lives.  I get to meet sick children and their families and then have the opportunity to make a difference in their life and see that result first hand.” 

I asked Leslie what her advice would be for students getting ready to join the work force and she emphasized networking, getting experience in the related field, and following what you love to do.  She didn’t know exactly where she wanted to end up working, but she continued to pursue and learn about areas that interested her and from there she said, “The job chose her.”

Love and Muskie Pride,
Bridget Tully
Career Development Office Inter

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