Jack of all trades. That’s the catchphrase that I usually attribute to myself. I have a lot of interests that have taken me in many life directions both personally and professionally. My first undergraduate degree was in Music Education. My first job upon graduating was administering hedonic taste panels on fully cooked chicken nuggets, tenders and cutlets for Perdue Foods. Not the normal career path for a music teacher, but the opportunity was an interesting one.
I did end up teaching elementary music for several years, but I also worked as a full time volunteer acting as a residential treatment counselor for troubled youth in Alaska, did long term subbing in Phoenix middle schools, worked as a music camp counselor on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, directed several church choirs, worked in an antique store on weekends and was a resource leader for the National Trust’s Main Street Program.
I ended up going back to school for a second undergrad – this time with a BFA in Interior Design and a minor in Art History. Throw ballroom dancing in there (I taught some basics), and custom framing and you can see I have a lot of varied experiences.
The point of all this is that I often struggled with how to present myself in the business world. I really am the sum of my parts, but to put all those things on my resume never felt like the best idea. Most employers want bullet points. With Room & Board, I got to talk about all these things at the interview. I was able to weave the tapestry of my varied work/life experiences and how they continue to inform what I do and the finesse with which I do it. I think it helped get me the job. It seems that I’m not alone. Talk to any DA and I think you’ll find an interesting story as to how they found their way here.
I’ve been at Room & Board since the fall of 2011 and enjoy how all my experiences seem to weave their way into present day in some form or another. I continue to see themes of education and design in many things that I do. I’ve been the bedding captain, the lead educator for our Custom Window product category introduction at the store level, acted as mentor for new hires, worked as Brand Liaison, worked with Visual and continue to act as a Design Associate for customers that I meet daily. I continually work with new parameters and challenges every day – much like my work history. I look forward to seeing where my interests take me next.