Interview with Betsy Hill
Name: Betsy Hill
Major, minor, and graduation year: Communicating Arts: Journalism, English, 2005
Job Title: Employment Technician Job Counselor
Organization/ Place of work: Workforce Development Department through the Duluth Workforce Center
You're an Employment Technician Job Counselor, what does that entail? What are your duties or responsibilities?
- I work for a federally funded program where job seekers who qualify as low income are able to use my department as a resource in finding employment. We are also open to the public and college graduates as well. I assist clients with writing resumes, preparing for interviews, and targeting interviews. I also network with employers, teach classes on job seeking, and work with employer wage subsidies.
What are the highlights of your job that you enjoy most?
- What I enjoy most is working with people and helping them become successful with their job search. I like the variety in my job too because every day is different. The most rewarding aspect to my position is giving guidance to my clients because in the end, it is them who are putting in the effort during their job search.
What are the challenges that you face with your job that are not enjoyable?
- The aspects of my job that are not so enjoyable would have to be when clients do not follow through on their end of finding a job or not showing up for an interview, etc. I strongly want people to take advantage of every opportunity. I cannot do their work for them.
How do you spend your work days? Do you spend a lot of time office/lab/meetings/outside/___?
- My work day varies because a portion of my day is spent in my office emailing clients and answering or returning phone calls. On some days, I host my job search/resume and interview classes or meet with clients. Weekly, I network with employers.
How did this type of job/field interest you and how did you get started?
- I was having a hard time finding journalism positions and I wanted to stay in the Duluth area. After gaining experience through my tempt position at Express Employment Professionals as a staffing consultant and recruiter, I was able to take my civil service test, and applied and got my current position in June of 2009.
What qualifications did you need to obtain this job?
- The qualifications I needed to obtain this job was a four-year college degree (communicating arts/social work majors preferred), experience working with job seekers and employers, completing a civil service test, and having strong communication and interviewing skills.
What personal qualities or abilities do you believe contribute most to success in this job/field?
- My personal qualities that have helped contribute most of the success within my job would have to be my confidence and my ability to stir confidence within the people that I work with. I have a helpful and friendly personality which is good to have in my field of work because you always want to strive for a positive interaction with clients and when networking with employers. I also look at myself as a team player in every way that I can help people.
What organizations were you involved in College that helped you towards your career?
- I can't say I was involved in anything that necessarily gave me experience for my job field, but being involved with the Promethean (Today known as the Stinger) helped me gain more confidence and strengthened my communication skills by interacting with people.
What degree/s is appropriate for this line of work?
- I think the degrees that are most appropriate for my line of work would be human resources, social work, and communicating arts majors. To be honest though, I believe that as long as you can sell your degree to the employer, it doesn't matter what you graduated with.
Where and/or what do you hope to be in 2-5 years? 5-10 years? What are the keys to this career advancement?
- I would like to be in the same position that I am currently, but I would like to work more with college graduates who are struggling to find work out of college.
What was the best piece of advice you received and from who that helped you towards your career?
- The best piece of advice I received was from Joel Anderson, a Journalism Professor at UWS, who told me, "Always ask questions and be curious, it's always served me well."
Do you have any advice or "words from experience" for a college student interested in this job/field?
-Network yourselves. Start now that you're in college and be as involved on campus, with work, etc. because even though you may not get your "dream career" right out of college, it will still help you towards your goal career.
If you knew all this back in college, what would you say were the most important classes? Is there anything you would have paid more attention to? Any additional classes you would have taken?
- I think that any classes that focus on diversity or culture are key classes to take in college, especially if someday you plan on working with people.
In college, people claim that a bachelor's degree isn't enough anymore and that you need a master's or doctorate degree to get your foot in the door. What's your opinion?
-I disagree. You need master's degrees for some professions, but I still think that experience is what truly gets your foot in the door.