"My internship was a valuable experience because it made me question what do I really want to do after college? Where can I go to do something similar with my communication skills?"
An internship can reaffirm a career passion or challenge a student to consider another direction – as was the case for Shelby. While she was hands-on working in broadcast journalism, she discovered it was not the career she wanted. She refocused her efforts and discovered a new field that perfectly fit her education and goals. Today, Shelby is the Human Resources Coordinator for BITCO Insurance Companies in Davenport, Iowa.
How did your internship help you refine your goals?
"I found out news wasn't my calling," she says. "If I didn't have that internship, I would have accepted a job after college I truly did not love. Instead, I graduated, got my first job at Deere & Company and started working in an atmosphere and position in which I was truly passionate." At SAU, we want all students to intern, and our Career Center helps you make those connections.
How does your communication degree help you in your work?
"All I've accomplished in the past five years, and where I am today is because of my communication degree. It helped me learn what I really wanted to do," she says. "Since graduating, I have worked in corporate communications, and now HR, and I believe my degree is why I got those jobs and have been successful."
What did you do outside your major studies that prepared you for a career?
Shelby had a lot going on between coursework and basketball practice. "I learned time management and organization skills. Those were two of the biggest things I took away from my Ambrosian experience, as well as the importance of community involvement," she says. Shelby, like many Ambrosians, wanted to serve and started volunteering for the Boys & Girls Club. She still does today. "SAU taught me how to be a good employee and good person outside of the workforce."
Can you assess the value of your SAU education?
"I had one of the best college experiences anyone could have. Going from a small high school to a smaller university was the perfect transition for a small-town girl. I wouldn't pick another university if I had the chance to do it over again. I absolutely loved my Ambrose experience."
You were Homecoming Queen in 2015. Did you keep the crown?
"Yes, and I still admire that crown. It shows how passionate I am about SAU and how much fun I had there. I made best friends, got involved in so much, I believe those four years made me the person I am today, it is where I found myself. Yes, that crown represents some of the best years of my life."