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Ryan Yingling graduated from UW-Superior in 2004 with a degree in Business Administration and an emphasis in Management. He also attended WITC-Superior in order to obtain another degree, this one in Marketing. With his skills in management and his love for working with people, Yingling was able to earn himself a leadership position, and he is now working as a General Manager for Screen Graphics/Uniform Connection in Superior, WI.
From the time he was in college, Yingling has learned to deal with many aspects of management. While attending UW-Superior he was always on the go, splitting his time as both a full-time student as well as a full-time employee. He recalls, "I often worked 30-40 hours per week, had anywhere from 12-18 credits, and [worked] 10-20 hours a week at my internship/work study. What this did do was teach me outstanding time
management skills, which I use every day." From these experiences, Yingling excelled in time management and getting things done efficiently, which were skills he was able to carry over into his professional career.
Once he had a solid base of experiences added to his background, Yingling found that his jobs as a professional constantly were pulling him towards positions of leadership, usually landing him in a management position. He was always happy to take these leadership roles, which he expresses by saying, "I have always been drawn to managing and motivating people since I can remember." This passion of his allows for him to be as successful as his is with his work.
At his current job, Yingling is in charge of overseeing everything that happens within the business on a daily basis. It is his responsibility to take care of everything, ranging from managing his employees and working with customers, to keeping records for the business and making needed purchases. He spends the majority of his time either working in his office or helping with production, though he also devotes a portion of his work-week to meetings as well.
Overall, Yingling really enjoys being a part of the small business and having direct connections with both his co-workers and his customers. He has the pleasure of working daily with both of these groups of people. As of now, the business only has eleven total employees, a situation which has both its problems and its perks. Since he has become so close with all of his co-workers, it sometimes can be difficult to carry out work within the business. Yingling explains, "We work very closely together and know each other very well. It is a challenge to balance co-worker and boss. When discipline is needed, it is difficult to wear different hats in the business and go from co-worker/friend to disciplinarian very quickly."
However, along with these challenges there also comes a great number of benefits. Yingling loves being able to work closely with the people he does, and since they are a tight-knit group with a broad range of talents, it makes for a great customer experience. When a customer comes in with a certain request, Yingling can pool the various skills of his staff in order to come up with a product suitable for the customer's needs. It brings satisfaction to Yingling being able to see the process through from the start to the finish and to see the customers' positive reactions when they pick up their orders. Being a small business, they are also able to work more closely with their consumers to customize their orders and make them something unique and personalized.
Looking back on his education now, Yingling would recommend Sociology classes to someone looking to go into the area of Management. Because this position requires so much interaction with people, he believes that at least some basic knowledge of human behavior would be greatly beneficial.
After his many years of work, Yingling has some advice to share with college students. He recommends, "Keep your mind open. The direction you want to go is not necessarily the same road you will end up on. Keep learning as much as you can, and be humble enough to accept help from others that will help shape you as a manager and leader." It is hard to get anywhere in life if you are not willing to learn new things as you go, and Yingling understands the great value in taking the time to learn from others.
As for the future, Yingling is hoping that he will still be working in his position as a General Manager with the same business in the next few years. However, he does hope that a few things have changed by then. It is his goal to expand the range of the business in order to increase its customer base. Within the next 5-10 years, he would love to see the business double in its size, which would, in turn, also correlate to an increase in their market share, giving them more recognition within the community. With his dedication to his job and his impeccable management skills, there is no doubt that this vision could soon become a reality.
Ryan Yingling was interviewed as a part of the Career Services Day in the Life project. His 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 Tashina Martinson on February 16, 2012. Article written by Kristen Jasperson.
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