As Jodie had learned in her career, sometimes you have to give people a nudge to get them to take action that’s best for them. Other times, you need to help them laugh when they want to cry. She had seen that skill in her professor as the following memory exhibits. The key is connecting what you can do to help to what someone needs.
When someone asks me how I started my career with my company, I always respond by smiling and saying: “my advisor”. I get excited because I then get the opportunity to tell someone new about one of the most influential persons in my life.
I still remember exactly where I was standing during the engineering career fair. You came up to me and asked me how it was going. I said something like, “it’s going alright” and you asked if I had visited the table of the company where I now work. I said “no, I heard they’re only offering co-ops, and I’m just really interested in a summer internship.” You smiled and said “come with me” and pretty much pushed me over to their table where I met one of your former students. After a few minutes of talking to her, I had an interview scheduled for the next morning.
On my way to the interview, there you were again, making sure I wasn’t too nervous and was prepared. It was my first time wearing a business suit and I was totally a fish out of water and obviously looked very uncomfortable. You pointed out that I didn’t have my outfit situated just so (I’ll skip the embarrassing details). Wow! What an embarrassment that would have been! I was so happy you were there to have my back – again. I walked into the interview after a short pep talk and there began my career.
The career fair surely was a defining moment in my life, but I also will never forget all the “little moments” with you. One time I was standing in the atrium crying over a boyfriend – actually I don’t really remember what I was crying over, but I’m sure it was a boyfriend. You told me to walk with you to the elevator where you gave me your handkerchief to dry my tears and made me laugh.
Another time I came to you frantic about paying for the last bit of senior year and you helped me apply for a last minute scholarship. I’ll never forget receiving that money and feeling the weight of the world being lifted.
Victoria – Class of 2011