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In 2010, Cassie Grubbe graduated from UW-Superior with a comprehensive major in Physical Education and a concentration in Community Health Promotion. Upon commencement, she was looking to be a part of something that would have a positive impact in the lives of many people. Fortunately, Grubbe was able to find a job in the local area that fit what she was looking for, and she now holds the position of Program Manager for the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest.
The goal that Grubbe is working towards as a part of her job is tobacco prevention and control. A large portion of this includes educating people about products that contain tobacco and the effects that tobacco can have on a person's body. It is part of her job to bring awareness to the situation while at the same time ensuring that the program remains sustainable. Each outreach project requires funding, so this is an important aspect of her job to plan out how much financial support will be required before taking on any new projects. This needs to be done in order to make sure that there is enough money to cover the venture without depleting too much of the fund.
Grubbe not only deals with the financial issues of the organization, but she also deals with some of the marketing aspects and creates various forms of advertising and media in order to get the word out about the tobacco issues. Since a large part of tobacco prevention is education, this is also a very important aspect to her job.
Though she does spend a good amount of time in her office working with these issues, Grubbe also spends much of her time on the road. As the Program Manager, she is responsible for working within four different counties in Northern Wisconsin, and therefore she often has to travel to various communities. While she is in each location, one of her tasks is to find community members who are willing to help with the program's sustainability efforts by speaking with legislators to get support for the program. This poses quite a challenge trying to find people who are willing to take on another project, since many people have demanding schedules already. Fortunately, Grubbe is able to use her social talents to relate to people and connect with them in order to gain support for the organization.
Grubbe claims that one of the best parts of her job is getting to work with so many others. She loves the time she spends with young people and the opportunities she has to teach them new things, and she meets many great community members while she travels from place to place. Also, the main funding for the program comes from Madison, and she has a great time working with the people at this location as well.
As Program Manager for such a well-known organization, there are a few qualities that prove to be essential for the job. Since Grubbe constantly deals with many different people, it is important for her to have a strong ability to communicate with each of them. She explains, "Social skills also play a large part in what I do on a daily basis; you need to be able to relate to people where they are at the moment." Other than just this talent, Grubbe believes that organizational skills are also necessary for her job, since more often than not she is working on more than one project at a time. It is important for her to be able to organize and prioritize in order to get everything done effectively and efficiently.
Looking ahead in her career, Grubbe still wants to be working in a similar field in the years to come. By the year 2012, the American Lung Association was able to enforce the smoke-free laws in Wisconsin, which Grubbe recognizes have had a major impact on the health of employees who were otherwise frequently exposed to secondhand smoke in their workplace. She wants to make a positive difference in people's lives by playing a part in movements similar to this that have such a tremendous impact in the lives of others.
Unfortunately there are no guarantees for Grubbe's future. She shares, "I hope to continue my work in public health, [but] my current position is grant funded and this particular position may not exist in a year or two." Since she realizes that there is not a lot of job security in her current role, Grubbe goes on to say, "Either way I hope to continue helping people live healthier lives and educating the importance of health."
Whether people are looking to better themselves in a field such as hers or in an area that is completely unrelated, Grubbe has some ideas to recommend in order for anyone to move forward in their work. She shares, "I think the key to advancing is to never back down from a challenge and learn everything you can. The more experience you have the greater your changes of advancement are." She knows that the more opportunities a person takes only will increase their chances to gain a more thorough education and be more suitable for whatever field they are looking to advance further in.
Another piece of advice that Grubbe shares, which she has personally taken to heart, was from her grandmother who said, "Smile, life is good." She feels that this suggestion can always be applied to wherever in life a person may be, and she says it "just reminds [her] that no matter what you are doing, it's what you make of it." Even though the outlook for Grubbe's job is by no means set in stone, by following this advice she will certainly have an optimistic view on whatever life throws her way.
Cassie Grubbe was interviewed as a part of the Career Services Day in the Life project. Her full interview and those of other UW-Superior alumni can be found on the Day in the Life website, http://www.uwsuper.edu/career/students/day-in-the-life.cfm.
Interview conducted by Kristen Jasperson on January 17, 2013. Article written by Kristen Jasperson.
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