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#TDT Scott Seaton…A Day in the Life of a Conductor!

“Focus on the process, not the result.”  ~Robin Fountain

What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice?

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My name is Scott Seaton and I am the Music Director of the North State Symphony (professional orchestra), the Principal Conductor of the Veridian Symphony Orchestra (professional orchestra), and interim conductor of the UCSB Chamber Orchestra (university orchestra).  I’m also a frequent guest conductor of orchestras across North America and Europe.  I have been conducting professionally for sixteen years now and have had a plethora of positions from my first position as conducting assistant with the Nashville Youth Symphony, to various university teaching positions, to leading community and professional orchestras.

I would say that getting to my current positions in California has been a combination of hard work and luck.  I’m in a career that is based heavily on networking and obtaining work from others who have seen and respect your work.  My first full-time position in conducting was as Director of Orchestras at Kent State University, which I wouldn’t have even been considered for had I not known the outgoing conductor.  He recommended me along with a few other people to be interviewed for the position and I ended up being the successful candidate – again, a combination of hard work and luck.

My experience at Kent State then led to the acquisition of the Lakeland Civic Orchestra, a community orchestra in Cleveland.  I worked hard to grow these orchestras and eventually got to a point where I felt I could move up to ensembles of a higher caliber.  After applying to several positions, I eventually won the Music Directorship of the Minot Symphony Orchestra in North Dakota.

When you apply for orchestras of a semi-professional or professional status, the application process is quite rigorous.  Assuming you have a body of experience to even be considered for a position, you send in an application along with – typically – 150 other applicants across the world all vying for one position.  An application typically consists of video samples of your work, a detailed CV, references, and a detailed cover letter that describes your particular vision for the orchestra you are applying for.  Once all applications are in, there are several rounds that follow; these usually include a “first cut”, an interview round of the top 10 or so candidates, then the top 4-6 candidates are invited to guest conduct the orchestra during the coming season.  Once that process is completed, then a new Music Director is named.  From the process of submitting an application to the announcement of the winner, the process can take anywhere from one to two years.  You have to be incredibly patient to be an orchestral conductor!

That is the exact process that I went through with the North State Symphony and was fortunate enough to be one of four finalists invited to come work with the orchestra over a 10-day period.  After I learned that I had won the position, I then relocated to California.  This particular position especially appealed to me because the flexibility of the position allows me to hold similar posts simultaneously all over the country.  Professional orchestral conductors can be very busy individuals and travel quite a bit – I know some conductors that hold three to four different posts, each on a different continent!

What types of qualities are important for this career choice?

To be a conductor of a professional orchestra, you absolutely have to love music.  That’s a given, right?  Well, you have to love music so much that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the place that you want to be in your musical career.  Yes, you may have to hold many jobs during your training that have nothing to do with music, but that definitely will make you a more well-rounded person and will give you valuable life skills.  When I was going through graduate school, I not only worked at Starbucks as a barista, but also for a non-profit environmental group that provided me with valuable fundraising skills that orchestras would look for when I began applying.

Being a conductor of a professional orchestra also means that you are the “face” of that orchestra.  Because of this, orchestras also want to make sure that you are comfortable interacting with a wide range of people and are – well – an engaging personality.  If you are not able to talk about and ‘sell’ your performances to people, then why would they hire you?

Here in the 21st Century where orchestras are dissolving all over the planet, orchestra hiring committees want someone who will strive to build audiences.  They want someone creative, innovative, and a proven “out of the box” thinker.  They also want someone who will invest themselves in the community around them.

What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do?

One of the things I love about my profession is that there really is not a “typical” day.  My week is a combination of meetings with symphony board and staff members, meetings with donors and potential donors, conducting rehearsals and/or performances, studying music scores in a café somewhere, creating promotional items for upcoming concerts, or even on an airplane or train traveling to and from gigs or meetings and catching up on emails or other random things associated with the job (like I am right now!).

Concert weeks are the busiest weeks of the year for me.  In addition to all the things I just listed, concert weeks add things like television and radio interviews, having dinners with concert sponsors, preparing pre-concert lectures, handling orchestra personnel issues that might come up, and a variety of other random things.

What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest?

First and foremost, you need to become as good as you can possibly be on an instrument or multiple instruments.  You need to refine your skills as a musician before you even think about being a conductor.  Sure, you can have a goal of becoming a conductor, but you absolutely have to focus on instrumental study first.  My first two degrees were in saxophone performance, not conducting.  Yes, I was studying conducting on the side, but I was also practicing my instrument for seven hours a day.  It was not until I began work on my doctorate that I focused myself exclusively on the study of conducting.

Once you are serious about becoming a conductor, then you should go to rehearsals of other conductors and just observe.  You need to go watch bad conductors as much as you need to go watch good conductors – you learn something from everyone, even if it is what NOT to do!

Additionally, to get into a conducting graduate program, you have to have conducting experience.  Since you cannot study conducting at the undergraduate level, this means that you will be getting your friends together to play for you as often as you can – make sure you buy them pizza and coke!

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

Conducting is not for the faint of heart – you get into it because you have an unexplainable love for it.  You have to have thick skin to be a conductor as not everyone is going to agree with you or even like you or what you do.  You have to stay true to your vision and trust that it is in the best interest of your organization and community.  Always listen, keep an open mind, and invest yourself in your friendships. 

What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

A conductor’s life is not always in the spotlight!  Much of your time will be spent alone in a quiet room deciphering scores and figuring out how composers who lived hundreds of years before you might have wanted a particular passage to sound.  Sometimes you get so busy that you wish you were sitting in a room studying scores.  Being a community leader and an arts ambassador is the most significant part of this career and it takes a lot of personal investment.

Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction?

The path to leading a professional orchestra is far from a linear one, unfortunately.  For better or for worse, I also had many diverse interests when I was growing up and when I entered college.  I was actually a double major in music and mathematics.  There came a time after my sophomore year of college that I was so busy and so stressed out all the time (because I was also studying conducting in addition to my formal math and saxophone performance majors) that I had to focus myself somehow.  It was at that point that I did a major life evaluation and talked to every music professional that I had met up to that point.  I ultimately came to the decision to cease the study of mathematics and to dedicate myself to the study of music.  It was a great time in my life because I had finally achieved clarity of focus.

I should point out, however, that I had known I had wanted to be a conductor from sometime in high school.  From the moments that I saw Boston Pops concerts on television as a young child to the times that I was able to lead my high school band, I knew that I had to be that guy somehow.  It simply took several more years to acquire the focus necessary for such a profession.

What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

I am super motivated and goal-oriented.  I’m also incredibly stubborn.  When I was in college, there was a professor that I wanted to study conducting with privately, but this person turned me down.  That experience essentially fueled me to try even harder and to find a way to accomplish my goals.

I also think it’s important to be able to accept failure and grow from it.  This is one of the reasons that I have valued the jobs that I’ve had outside of music.  My fundraising job, for example, not only allowed me to become good at asking people for money, but also being told “no”, which 9 out of 10 people did every single evening that I went door-to-door as a canvasser for environmental issues.

What do you most enjoy about your career?

The people!  From getting out in the community and talking to people about music to working with children of all ages in area schools, the human connection is the most amazing part of not only my job, but life.  The limited time that I’m able to be with the incredible musicians of my orchestras in rehearsals or performances and connect with them is something that cannot really be put into words.  It’s a transformative experience.

What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

Really, you should probably try to have as many different positions as you can, especially customer service positions and fundraising positions, if possible.  If you can eventually find positions within arts organizations, that would prove immensely valuable as well.

What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

You probably at least need an undergraduate degree in music.  Most conductors (depending on what level of ensemble they want to conduct), will need a Masters degree or even a Doctorate in conducting.  This is especially true if you have any intention of conducting in the university system.  You will also spend your summers doing professional development workshops/seminars and working with lots of different conductors in an effort to refine your technique and – more importantly – building relationships with and learning from colleagues that are striving to do the very thing you want to do.

If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in and why?

I would most likely be doing something with mathematics.  I’m a huge numbers nerd. In high school especially, I loved that we were able to determine things like time of death in my calculus class.  Weird, I know!  I could absolutely imagine myself working in an FBI crime lab or something.

 

 

 

 

#TDT Molly Stimpel…a day in the life of a principal!

“People that are happy with their work – whatever it is – tend to be successful in a way that works for them.” — Molly Stimpel

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What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice? 

My name is Molly Stimpel, and I am the principal at Juniper School in Redding, CA.  This is my second year as principal.  Before that, I was vice principal for a year, and a teacher for 24 years.  My experience working in education covers preschool through high school.  I have worked for Berkeley Unified School District, Richmond Unified School District, and the Redding School District.  As a teacher, I worked with exemplary administrators that put in long hours and made difficult decisions day after day.  I was very happy as a teacher and did not see myself as an administrator. As my own children grew older, I decided to return to being a student and earn a master’s degree in education to fulfill my desire to learn more about my career field.  As part of that work, I also earned my administrative credential.  One situation led to another, and I became the principal at a K-8 school.  I sort of feel like this career chose me.  It is the hardest I have ever worked, and some of the most interesting work I have done.

What types of qualities are important for this career choice?

A school principal works with people of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of situations.  To do this successfully, one needs to be open-minded, identify problems and related solutions, always learning, ask questions and follow through with answers, have working knowledge of school systems and what makes a successful classroom, recognize and support great teaching, and successfully manage projects that improve student learning.

 What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do?

A K-8 school principal assesses the safety and academic needs of all students.  I work with teachers, families, students, district office staff, and community members to identify the current needs students have that prevent them from achieving their potential.  Examples of needs could be school absences, hunger, sleep, positive relationships with peers, additional time for learning, transportation to/from school, additional presentation of material to be learned, or time to read for learning.  I then work with all of these same groups to implement solutions to meet these needs.

Most days begin with meeting and greeting teachers and students as they arrive on our campus between 7:30 and 8:30. Lately I have been taking a couple of mornings a week to walk some students from our neighborhood to school as part of a “walking school bus.” I want to make personal contacts with as many people as I can to let them know that I see them, and appreciate them.  I get and give hugs, and shake lots of hands. This helps me get a feel for the day. I don’t know everyone’s name yet, but I am getting close!

During the day I visit different classrooms observing and talking with students and teachers, walk through the cafeteria and playground to check in with students and get more hugs, I meet with students that are having a difficult time focusing in class or are having problems with peers, and return phone calls and emails. I give campus tours to new students and families. I eat lunch in the staff room to give another opportunity to connect with staff. At excusal I am out with students as they load the bus or get picked up by family.  We have an after school program and I stop in there a few times a week to see how students are doing or follow up with students or staff on something from earlier in the day. Seeing our students and families enjoying social time together is very encouraging. A great deal of my job is communicating and connecting.

During the week I meet with instructional staff, office staff, and custodial staff to learn about how I can help meet needs they see.  I review all report cards before they are distributed to students. I evaluate teachers, instructional aides, custodians, office staff, and our P.E. tech. To do this effectively, I need to observe them in several situations over time.  I love getting to give affirmations to the amazing people that come every day and work so diligently to care for and prepare our students. I also attend after school sporting events and performances.  I check student attendance reports, sign off on time sheets, approve expenditures, employee requests, and public requests for use of our school facilities.

What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest?

A school principal needs to have a broad range of experience in school settings. I believe that spending time at different schools in a variety of classrooms while pursuing an education is very helpful.  As a principal, I work very closely with students and staff.  If I don’t have a good handle on what is reasonable to expect, or relevant experiences to give me empathy, then the people I am working with will close themselves off.  I have done just about every type of job that exists on my campus, in one capacity or another.  Before I became a teacher, I was a receptionist, I worked in sales, food service, promoting large entertainment events, supervising children, and cleaning houses. Some jobs were more glamorous than others, but they all taught me skills that I use now. I was surprised that I became a teacher; it was not an aspiration of mine.  However, I realized that I enjoyed the work and found it very satisfying.  For anyone, I suggest getting experience in a variety of jobs to help hone your interests.  People that are happy with their work – whatever it is – tend to be successful in a way that works for them.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field? 

I think I covered that in #4.  Two things that I will add:  1.  Trust yourself and listen to yourself; the rest will follow, and 2.  Keep reading.

What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?  

Before working as a principal, I remember thinking that principals spend most of their day in their offices, talking on the phone or something.  The truth is that great principals are former teachers and make their focus doing what it takes to support students, which also means supporting teachers and families.  As former great teachers, principals are visiting classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, and other places where students, teachers, and families are found to learn about them and their needs. Like great teachers, great principals are always learning and want to be excellent role models for others.

Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction? 

No, I did not expect to ever have the job I have. In fact, I did not see myself as a teacher, but others did and encouraged me to move in that direction.  From there, I followed my professional curiosity and desire to keep learning.  That took me to the principal’s office.

What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career? 

I am helpful and see life from a positive perspective. I learned early on that people are people; we all need to be valued and to contribute.  None of us is better than another, but we may have different circumstances. That has helped me be open to what others have to say and are thinking. I tend to follow through on what I say, which is very hard sometimes. I am loyal which helps build trust and respect.

What do you most enjoy about your career?  

Every day is different, and the same.  I get to work with people that have been on the planet for less than five years and grandparents raising their grandchildren. There is so much variety.

What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?  

Get yourself into classrooms and schools to get years of experience.  Work in customer service. Work in a position that is defined but always changing.

What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?  

The state of California requires a principal to have a teaching credential and an administrative credential.

If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? and why?  

Now that my children are adults, I would like a job where I get to travel and help people.

How can we keep up on all the great work you are doing at Juniper School?

Please follow us on Twitter @JuniperRSD and check our website for additional information: www.juniper.reddingschools.net

#TDT Emily Meehan…A day in the life of a Librarian!

 

 “Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it” – Julia Child

  1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice? 

My name is Emily Meehan and I am the Educational Services Librarian at Shasta Public Libraries. I’m emily_meehanstationed at the main Redding Branch, but my position has me all over the place! I’ve worked in libraries since I was in middle school, but I guess you could say I’ve been “in the field” for a little more than two years. However, I’ve only held my current position for three months.

I’ve always loved libraries and books, but I actually started my Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) thinking I would go into museum preservation or archives. When I was getting my BA in history, I discovered that historians get to do research with incredibly old and unique materials that I loved to geek out over (for instance, I had a job once where I worked in a library that had original manuscripts of Oscar Wilde’s works and then another library where I worked with music magazines from Soviet Russia). However, I quickly learned that I would rather not do the research myself, but facilitate others’ research by helping them access these old and awesome resources. So after I graduated from UC Berkeley with a history degree, I went straight to UCLA to do my MLIS and become an archivist.

After I started, I decided to take a class on contemporary children’s literature, because why not? And suddenly, I wanted to be a children’s librarian. Actually, it wasn’t that quick, but I had previously held a few positions in archives or rare books libraries and decided it was a little more isolated and antisocial than I wanted my job to be. I wanted to be out in the public, making a physical difference in lives by promoting reading. And who wouldn’t want a job where you get paid to read children’s books?

As for how I got to my current position at Shasta Public Libraries, I spent a lot of time at UCLA thinking about what public libraries can do to help the schools in their community and how the two could collaborate to improve K-12 education. When I saw the opportunity to have a direct impact on that as an educational services librarian in Redding, I jumped at it. I interviewed and they must have liked me, because here I am!    

  1. What types of qualities are important for this career choice? 

It sometimes varies among libraries or with the type of librarian you want to be, but for the most part, employers in the library world today want their employees to have a very creative and innovative mind. Library services are constantly expanding or changing to meet their community’s needs and it’s common now to think of your public library as a place that has so much more than books. Librarians need to be able to be in touch with their community and think outside the box in order to come up with ways to serve their patrons better.

3. What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do?

The good thing about my job is that there is no “typical day.” Every day is different – I could be in my office most of the day contacting people about our library’s educational resources and establishing good connections between schools and the library, I could be assigned to work at the public reference desk for a few hours (my favorite is in the children’s department), or I could be out and about Shasta County going to different schools or outreach events to promote the library. I’m also developing presentations and trainings to take to schools to show exactly how to use all of our online resources – I’ve scheduled a few now that school is back in session. All of this keeps my job really interesting!

   

  1. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest?

I don’t think there is one particular topic you need to be interested in to be a librarian. When I was in grad school, I knew people with a variety of different bachelors degrees – English, history, economics, anthropology, theater, engineering. The amazing thing about librarians is that they are simply interested in information as a whole. They are interested in learning. Most importantly, they want to help others learn more.  

 

  1. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field? 

As a public librarian, you need to be prepared to work with the public. Many people think of librarians as quiet, closed off, and working in solitude. There are certain libraries like that, but this is not so in the public library. You constantly interact with all forms of public citizenry, from the great to not-so-great. The public library does not discriminate and serves all. Having a job with a large customer service aspect is a great way to gain experience and prepare for this.

   

6.What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

I embody a few librarian stereotypes. I wear large chunky glasses and my hair in a bun, I don’t have a cat but am planning on getting one soon, and I read like there’s no tomorrow. However, one librarian stereotype that I don’t like is the cranky old woman that is constantly shushing people in the library. Librarians today are far from that. Yes, we do want you to be respectful of others in the library and we will monitor noise, but we like to think we do so politely.

 

  1. Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction?

I was fortunate in that my path to my career was fairly linear because I was able to figure out early on exactly what I wanted to do. I knew from my first year at college I wanted to be a history major, and I left knowing I was going to go to library school. Like I said earlier, I did change from wanting to work in museums to public libraries, but I could pursue both at the same school, so it wasn’t a huge change.

This has all happened really fast. I didn’t take any extended breaks in between school. But I knew plenty of people at UCLA that did. I was friends with people who were near or over 30, for many of which the MLIS was their second masters degree or were still struggling to figure out what they were going to do as a career. So my path was linear, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same for everybody. And who knows? I’m still very young and may go through some mid-life crisis way down the line and discover a completely new career I want to pursue!

One thing that could have made me sacrifice my current job was “life.” Life happens. Sometimes things or people will come into your life, for better or for worse, and make you rethink things. I had a few of these things happen when I was deciding whether to move so far away to take my current job. I’ve been focused on myself and my career for most of my life without anything in my way. When something comes along to alter that, it’s hard to let go of all your hard work. I think it’s important to keep “life” in mind; that may lead to making certain sacrifices, but at the same time, you have worked hard to get to a certain point. You’re allowed to think of what is best for you and continue your personal and professional journey.    

 

  1. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

I have always been a very determined and focused person. I like to set a goal and attain it. If I fail, I reevaluate my approach or my goal and try again.

 

  1. What do you most enjoy about your career?

The kids! What else? It brings me such joy to see kids come into the library and be inspired. It is so fulfilling to know that you’ve made a positive difference in children’s lives by simply talking to them about books and encouraging a love for reading.

 

  1. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

Any customer service experience is definitely helpful. You can also volunteer at your local library and know what goes on behind the scenes. At the Redding Library we have a strong Teen Advisory Board that plans teen programs and is able to express opinions on how they want to see their library serve them.

 

  1. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

Typically, you need a Masters of Library and Information Science to become a librarian. Depending on the school, this can take from one to three years.

 

  1. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? and why?

When I was in high school, I played clarinet and was pretty good. I really wanted to become a concert clarinetist, but I discovered by joining other larger groups that I wasn’t as good at others. I’m not a competitive person by nature, and didn’t want to make a career out of competing for rare positions in symphonies, especially when I had a lot of work to do to get to their level. It didn’t seem like a very stable career and to be honest, the money isn’t great as a musician. I still love music and play often without the pressure of career, but I do miss performing with a larger ensemble.

#TDT Jason Richart…A day in the life of a Financial Advisor!

  1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice? 

Jason Web Photo - Version 4“My name is Jason Richart and I am a Financial Advisor with LPL Financial.  I’ve been in the industry going on 11 years.  I’ve always had a passing attraction to the financial services industry, however, my career found me more than I found it.  I did not have the vision in college that I was going to be helping people with their retirement planning.  I actually decided to go into politics and public relations as I felt I was more suited to that field.  I got my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in Communications.  Little did I know that a Communications degree would actually help in my current field.”

After college, I worked in politics and public relations but found I was more attracted to helping people directly on a personal level.  After having a few job experiences, I was recruited into the financial services industry.  As I said, this career field is something I always had a cursory interest in, but I didn’t believe I had the qualifications or ability.  I thought I needed a Finance degree or an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) to be in this profession.  I also was fearful of having to be a “salesperson”, but I now realize that most careers have a component of “sales”.   So I eventually succumbed to the recruitment attempts and jumped feet first into the job.  When starting out in the industry it is very much feast or famine, but if you survive it is extremely rewarding.”

 

2. What types of qualities are important for this career choice? (What do employers look for? Tips to help them get hired)

“The qualities that make a great financial advisor are someone who truly cares about helping others, enjoys people and has the propensity to be analytical.  It helps if you enjoy being an analyzer and a good listener, are part educator and are confident in your abilities.  An employer would look at your activities in and out of school, participation in clubs, teams, etc. I would want someone that has experience interacting with the public and shows maturity when dealing with people.  Also, I would want someone who is analytical and smart, so having good grades is a plus.”

 

  1. What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do?

“We tend to have a long-term vision and timeframe when it comes to our clients’ investments.  However, our typical day and/or week can be influenced by activity and changes in the current markets and economy.  Communication with clients and account reviews take up a big part of the day regardless of what is going on in the world.  This requires spending a lot of time on the phone and in front of a computer.  Then there are the face-to-face meetings with clients in the office.  I also read a lot of business news and economic news during the week.   If there are big swings in the markets or with specific stocks, clients want to know why things are happening and want me to call them.  After looking at the client’s accounts, we may need to make investment decisions and trades in the accounts, which is all done on the computer.”

   

  1. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest?

“There are financial professionals that have all kinds of backgrounds and previous careers.  However, if this is what you want to do for a living, getting a business/finance degree would be a good thing.  If you want to work on Wall Street, an MBA from an Ivy League school is preferable.  Some in my profession, though, don’t even have a college degree and they are very talented and successful.”

 

  1. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field? 

“The one piece of advice I would give someone for any career is to really understand the profession and narrow your focus to what attracted you to that field.  I find a lot of people believe a career is one thing, but after a job shadow they find out it’s very different.  They may see only one component of the job and block out other unappealing aspects.  As an example, many see the analytical component of being a financial advisor, but the personal interaction with clients is a much bigger component and is key to growing your business in the early years.  There is a lot of unglamorous work that needs to be done to build a practice.”

   

    6.What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

“A myth that needs to be dispelled about financial services is that it is a guaranteed financial windfall.  Success is not guaranteed and it is hard work.  A very high percentage of financial advisors coming into the industry fail.  In fact, I’ve read 80% to 90% of new hires don’t survive.”

 

  1. Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction? (setbacks, sacrifices, advice you received, life changes, realizations)

“I had several different jobs after college that you would assume didn’t help build my resume to be a financial advisor; however, looking back I can see that I take specific skills learned from each of those jobs and apply them to my current job as a financial advisor.  For me personally, I did not have the maturity to do my current job when I graduated college.  I did not have enough life experience and empathy to understand savings, debt, long-term planning, risk, reward, the importance of a lifetime of savings.  So sometimes your path is straightforward, but other times it might be a little more roundabout and life experience is needed.  If you find the career that you love right from the beginning of your working life, good for you, but I think you’re in the minority.  I think having a few different jobs allows for you to learn what you truly want to do as a career and teaches you about yourself.”

 

  1. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

“I think having the ability to take complex processes and structures and make them easily understandable to those not in the industry is very important.  Also, early on you have to have some grit to be able to grind every day to build a business.”

 

9. What do you most enjoy about your career?

“Easy question!!  First and foremost, I love helping others.  In addition, I love being my own boss and having the freedom that allows.”

 

10. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

“I would refer back to my answer to Question #4.  Any experience that’s going to give you maturity and the ability to work with people’s life savings and not lose it will be valuable.”

 

11. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

“You need to be licensed to sell securities, mutual funds, and insurance products.  To obtain these licenses you must take a test administered by the state where you live and the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).  Technically, you do not need a college education to be a financial advisor. “

 

12. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? and why?

“To be honest I would go to work for a government agency that provides a good salary, a great pension, excellent benefits and lets me go home at the end of the day and not think about my practice.”

#TDT…Casey Bokavich A day in the life of a Police Sergeant!

Favorite Quote:

Our profession has numerous openings across the country that cannot be filled due to a lack of qualified candidates. The profession is actively looking for citizens from all walks of life to be a part of our team. We need you….

1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice? Casey Bokavich

My name is Casey Bokavich. I am a sergeant with the Redding Police Department. I have been in law enforcement for 26 years. My current assignment is the “Administrative Sergeant”. In essence the administrative sergeant deals with the “business” side of our operation. I am responsible for hiring, equipment, training and a whole host of other duties.

2. What types of qualities are important for this career choice? (What do employers look for? Tips to help them get hired)

We are looking for a who has demonstrated a track record of the following character traits and work habits. The information below is right out of the background investigation manual.

. MORAL CHARACTER

1. Integrity

• Honesty
• Impartiality
• Trustworthiness
• Protection of Confidential Information
Moral/Ethical Behavior

2. Impulse Control/Attention to Safety

• Safe Driving Practices
• Attention to Safety
• Impulse/Anger Control

3. Substance Abuse and Other Risk-Taking Behavior

HANDLING STRESS AND ADVERSITY

4. Stress Tolerance

• Positive Attitude and Even Temper

• Stress Tolerance and Recovery

• Accepting Responsibility for Mistakes

5. Confronting and Overcoming Problems, Obstacles, and Adversity

WORK HABITS

6. Conscientiousness

• Dependability/Reliability

• Personal Accountability and Responsibility

• Safeguarding and Maintaining Property, Equipment, and Belongings
• Orderliness, Thoroughness, and Attention to Detail

• Initiative and Drive

• General Conscientiousness
INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS

7. Interpersonal Skills

• Social Sensitivity

• Social Interest and Concern

• Tolerance

• Social Self-Confidence/Persuasiveness

• Teamwork

INTELLECTUALLYBASED ABILITIES

8. Decision-Making and Judgment

• Situation/Problem Analysis

• Adherence to Policies and Regulations

• Response Appropriateness

• Response Assessment

9. Learning Ability

10. Communication Skills

• Oral Communication

• Written Communication

3. What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do?

I have to start by stating my position is not what people aspire to do when entering law enforcement. My position is job within the department. One has to have obtained a large amount experience in various positions and rank in order to effectively perform in the admin sergeant role. I believe what is best is to describe a typical day of a police officer and that is not an easy answer. There is no telling what an officer will handle on any given day. Officers are charged with enforcing the laws of our state with the goal at improving the quality of life for all of our citizens. They handle calls for service from the community that can range from a barking dog complaint to a robbery call. It is that varied workload which makes the job so appealing to those that do it. Officers need to be able to work independently without direct immediate supervision due to the nature of our deployment from a centralized location (police station) to a beat.

4. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest?

This is a loaded question. Many departments require some level of college before one can apply. What we are finding in our profession is that many people do not have the basic writing skills needed to perform the job. Officers must be able to author accurate and detailed reports when investigating crimes. Many people choose to obtain a degree in criminal justice. I personally believe this is good, but not required. I would recommend that a person obtain a degree prior to entering law enforcement that will provide that an alternate skill set to prepare for another career should they discover law enforcement is not the career for them or if the get hurt and can no longer do the job. A four year degree is best if that is an option. Many departments provide a financial benefit for those that have degrees. Furthermore, if a peson chooses to promote, many departments require a four year degree.

Many young people may not have the opportunity to go to college due to family finances. In that case, I would recommend a young person to have a look at the military. That way a person can obtain a great deal of life experience and take college courses with the community colleges of the different services. A person will also earn a G.I. bill which could be used to go to college for say a business degree or find their attendance at a police academy at a community college.

5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

Make good decisions in your life EARLY. Mistakes or criminal violations committed early in life may preclude a person from being considered for employment during the background investigation process. This includes driving, theft, use of drugs…..it all gets looked at when we are selecting a person.

6.What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

Our profession can be very fun. There is nothing like it.

7.Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction? (setbacks, sacrifices, advice you received, life changes, realizations)

I did not set out to be a police officer. I wanted to be a Marine Corps pilot but due to having a asthma, I could not do that. I looked around a decided on law enforcement because it appeared to be a close to the military.

8. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

Work ethic and being able to talk with anyone, anywhere.

9. What do you most enjoy about your career?

I have been able to do a lot of different assignment’s. It has been exciting at times and I believe I have had a positive impact on my community.

10. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

We look at work history. Does a person give more than is expected? Would the person be re-hired by a former employer? Any time a person can obtain prior experience where they can work independently and assume leadership roles is helpful. Do they show up on time? Can the person be trusted? Does the applicant do the right thing when no one is looking? Just remember that unlike other professions, we do an extensive background investigation to ascertain the if a person should be hired. From that point there is an extensive training and probationary period.

11. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

In order to become a sergeant one must have been a successful police officer. From there a person would then move to a specialty assignment such as investigations or traffic. Advanced degrees are not required but desirable. Roughly 35% our department have master’s degrees.

12. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? and why?

I have no idea. If would have to be something where I could work independently in an ever changing environment.

If there is anything else that you would like to add about you or your career for our LaunchPad readers, please do so here: (community involvement, advice, suggestions, etc.)

At the Redding Police Department we have what is called an “Explorer Post” which is a program from high school age people to learn more about law enforcement. Our Explorers are utilized at all of the city’s special events to assist with traffic control and other duties. The program is an excellent educational opportunity for any young person wishing to see if law enforcement is something they would like to do. More information about the Explorer Post can be had on the RPD website.

For college age young people we have a cadet program. This is a paid part time, non-benefitted position. Cadets work part time at the department doing a variety of support functions. Cadets are not used for any enforcement functions. This is a great way to gain experience at a police department. The department interviews for the position about once a year. Interested individuals should go to the city’s website and complete an electronic interest card for the position.

Find out more about Casey BokavichForce Options Training by Sergeant Casey Bokavich

 

#TDT Lea Tate…A day in the life of a Clinical Psychologist!

Being honest with what you want in life and going for it keeps you happy and satisfied.

1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice? 

Campaign Headshots for Lea Tate. November 2015

My name is Lea Tate and I am a clinical psychologist. I was raised in the Northstate and graduated from Shasta High School, Class of 1993. I attended the University of California, Berkeley and received my BA in Psychology with an informal emphasis in Military Affairs. After graduation in 1997, I attended the California School of Professional Psychology and earned my Masters Degree (1999) and my Doctorate in Psychology in 2001 with an emphasis in Cross-Cultural Psychology. I have been working in the field since that time. Currently, I work at the Department of Veterans Affairs as a clinical psychologist and as an associate administrator at Patients’ Hospital of Redding. In my “spare” time, I have a small private practice where I perform disability evaluations on infants, adolescents and adults.

Making the decision to go into psychology was done when I was in the 5th grade. I was always the child who others went to for advice, family problems and problem solving. I enjoyed helping my friends and trying to figure out other ways to solve problems they were having. I continue to enjoy doing the same thing as an adult.

 

2. What types of qualities are important for this career choice? 

Clinical psychologists have to be able to balance empathy with helping individuals achieve their goals. The qualities that are important in this profession are: empathy, great listening skills and the ability to establish rapport with clients. Connecting to clients no matter what is said in confidence is imperative. Putting aside your biases for certain issues (treatment of sex offenders, domestic violence perpetrators or victims, etc.) is important because it is difficult to help clients achieve goals if you have a preconceived idea about the goal. I have found that the best psychologist are ones that have great intuition!

 

3. What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do?

I have several different hats in my current jobs:
At the Department of Veterans Affairs, I am the Local Recovery Coordinator. I work there part-time and I am responsible for ensuring Recovery Oriented Treatment is given to Veterans within the Northern California Healthcare System. Most of my days are spent on the telephone speaking with Veterans or training other VA mental health staff members on Recovery principles.
At Patients’ Hospital of Redding, I am responsible for ensuring all departments are complying with state and federal hospital regulations. I work closely with the CEO of Patients’ Hospital of Redding.
In my private practice, I typically see 4-7 patients on Fridays. I perform psychological testing on infants, adolescents and adults. Psychological testing can includes: determining intelligence quotient (IQ) scores, achievement scores, memory impairment assessments, development estimations, sexual deviant behavior levels, personality characteristics and neuropsychological functioning. It also focuses on cognitive, social, language and motor skill impairments
If you haven’t notices, the common denominator of all of my current positions is that it involves interacting with people… You have to enjoy people!

4. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest?

When I speak to younger people who are interested in psychology, I always encourage classes in psychology, statistics, anthropology and sociology. Courses in history are helpful when working with clients of diverse backgrounds–if you have more knowledge about where the client comes from, rapport is easily established. This could be knowledge about the military, immigrants, various ethnic groups or socio-economic struggles. Connecting with a client can be the only difference between life and death as a result of suicide.

I would also suggest volunteering in an inpatient unit or county mental health. This is where I started. I worked at Shasta Psychiatric Hospital as a mental health worker while I was home from college in the summer. It is always been helpful for me to have the background of starting from the very bottom in mental health and working to the top. The most difficult patients are found in these types of facilities. You will immediately know if you have the personality to manage a successful profession in clinical psychology.

5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

If you pursue a career in psychology, commit to getting the doctoral degree. Having your Bachelor or Masters degree will not allow you to utilize the entire degree to the fullest potential. Since I received my degree in 2001, I’ve had so much flexibility in my career! It has led me to working in 2 of the largest healthcare organizations in the nation, working at Hurricane Katrina in a supervisory position, perform psychological testing, consult with lawyers on juror selection, teaching classes, profiling clients and testifying in court regarding psychological incidents. I would not have been exposed or included in most of these experiences without having my doctoral degree.

6.What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

All psychologists are NOT crazy!

7. Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction? 

I made the decision in 5th grade to pursue a career in clinical psychology. I never deviated or considered anything else… I have always enjoyed school so going to college for several years was not a problem from me. Life changes all the time. You have to be prepared for highs and lows. Having a solid, successful degree and career has given me stability and options. As a woman, I think it’s important to have options so that you never feel trapped. I definitely have “exercised” options throughout my life! Overall, I am happy with me career choice and very proud of my career history.

8. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

I believe that my top qualities that helped me succeed is 1) not being afraid to pursue something new, 2) honesty and 3)being genuine. It’s always tempting to say “no, thank you” if someone asks you to do something different or foreign. I believe that getting involved, meeting new people and challenging skills is key to personal growth. Being honest with what you want in life and going for it keeps you happy and satisfied. Genuineness is important because people know when you aren’t being sincere–you can’t connect with anyone when they don’t trust you!

I also have a pretty good sense of humor. My family laughs a lot together!

9. What do you most enjoy about your career?

The flexibility is the most enjoyable part of my career! My degree has allowed me to work in juvenile hall, testify in court, provide psychological profiles and work for 2 of the largest healthcare systems in the nation (Kaiser Permanente and Department of Veterans Affairs). I love the variety in my schedule!

10. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

 

I always did a lot of volunteer work in high school and college in the psychology profession. Exposing yourself to difficult individuals occurs in psychology at some time or another… Working in an inpatient unit or a county mental health agency is great experience.

11. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of graduate school, 1 year of post-doctoral internship. You must complete a dissertation to complete your doctoral program.

12. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? and why?

I think that I picked a great career option that works with my personality! I have never considered a different profession.

Website to find out more about you:

www.leatate.com

#TDT Jacob Peterson…A day in the life of a nonprofit founder.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
-Mahatma Gandhi

1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on IMG_6677this career choice? 

My name is Jacob Peterson and I am the Executive Director of a non profit organization called the Junior Leadership Development Program. I have been working in this field for roughly eight years and decided to start my own business after four years in the field.

2. What types of qualities are important for this career choice? 

Ability to collaborate and inspire. Must have passion for your cause and be organized and a great communicator. Public speaking is a huge plus!

3. What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do?

One thing I love about my job is that every day is different. Here is an example of what one day might look like for me- sending out emails, giving a presentation to a group of people about our business, meeting and collaborating with other potential partners, working directly with volunteers and students at a school site.

4. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest?

Be proficient in Math and English. Get involved volunteering in your community!

5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

Never lose sight of your mission, building the right relationships with the right individuals in extremely important. Build your network!

6.What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

 

Many of the programs that people volunteer for take a team of professionals, a lot of donations and a lot of time to do effectively and efficiently.

7. Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction? 

When a very large mentoring organization in my community shut down, I kept thinking I wanted to do something about it but didn’t think I had the skills/expertise to at the time. After speaking with some great mentors and doing some soul searching, I built up the confidence to go for it. I started thinking why not me- I worked hard to accomplish my dream and made it happen, but it was scary at first.

8. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

Compassion and Persistence.

9. What do you most enjoy about your career?

 

Knowing everyday someone in need gets a better opportunity as a direct result of our efforts.

10. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

 

Planning and hosting an event/program. Volunteering in the community!

11. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

Must have completed high school, coordinated volunteers on a large scale and have understanding of business models etc. A college degree is preferred, Masters degree a huge plus!

12. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? and why?

 

Salesman- it is a big part of what I do: selling my program to schools, teachers, other partners, volunteers and students.

 

Advice from Jacob: 

Find something you love to do and you will never work a day in your life 🙂

 

Website to find out more about you:

jldp.info

#TDT Justin Cascarina…A day in the life of a Fitness Coach

 Favorite Quote: 

“Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true
whether we want it to be or not.”- Mark Rippetoe, Starting Strength

1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice?Justin

Justin Cascarina
Co-owner and Coach
Balance Point Fitness & Athletics

I have been in the fitness/strength and conditioning industry now for
fourteen years. My very first job was as a front desk staff member at the
YMCA, where I, for the first time, had access to strength training
equipment and began to learn about lifting weights. Once I was working in
a fitness facility it didn’t take long for me to realize that I wanted to
be a personal trainer/strength and conditioning coach.

My passion for training primarily came as a result from my desire to take
my athletic abilities to the furthest level possible. As I progressed in
sports it became obvious that to be successful at each level there was
another level of commitment that was required and strength and
conditioning was one of the main inputs that would help me reach my goals.
I learned everything I could about training by reading books, searching
the Internet, resourcing coaches and teachers, as well as by trial and
error. Unfortunately there weren’t any decent trainers/strength and
conditioning coaches in Redding when I was going through school and
playing sports locally so I didn’t have any professional experts to learn
from. This is what piqued my interest in becoming a trainer/strength and
conditioning coach and a major factor of why I provide the services I do
for the community today.

Initially, my excitement for training was focused on athletes and sports.
My original goal was to become a Division-I strength and conditioning
coach for a major college program. As is true with almost any industry
however, I wasn’t able to get my personal training certification and
immediately have athletes knocking on my door to work out with me. I had
to “learn the ropes” first and master my craft. I started by getting a
personal training job at regular gyms that have lots of machines, like the
YMCA, but soon realized that these types of workout facilities are very
poor for athletes looking to improve their abilities. So I sought out
several different internships all over California that were well known for
training professional and college athletes. These internships provided
invaluable experience and helped shape my training philosophy but also
opened my eyes to, what I consider, a greater picture.

These facilities understood that the demands of athletes, military,
firefighters, police officers, kids, adults, elderly, handicapped,
stay-at-home moms, etc. were, generally speaking, similar in nature and
only varied subtly. The premise behind this philosophy is that,
Physiologically speaking, there are some unbreakable laws of nature that
are constant for all humans and therefore, the nucleus fundamental
training stimuli are also constant. Because of this I realized that I
could train anyone like an athlete and help them progress to their fullest
potential better than using any other method of training.

As I took this information back to my general public (non-athlete) clients
at the regular gyms I began putting my theory the test. Making sure that I
didn’t push anyone too far beyond what they were capable of I, over the
course of time and after helping hundreds of non-athletes achieve goals
that improved the quality of their life, began to realize that the
greatest reward for me was serving the general population not the
athletes.

Always wanting to deliver the best results for my clients led me to search
outside of regular gyms to find what would be the best type of training
facility for both athletes and non-athletes. My search led me to the type
of facility that I now own at Balance Point Fitness & Athletics and that
is a “functional training facility”.

2. What types of qualities are important for this career choice? 

First and foremost, a fitness professional should truly care about helping
improve the quality of others’ lives and be personable. As with many
services the client needs to feel comfortable when they are with you and
trust that you always have their best interests in mind. Without a
positive and caring attitude a trainer will find it extremely difficult to
not only retain clients but get them in the first place.

A good trainer will develop a “fitness philosophy” (what benefits will
your clientele see from your method/style of training and why?) that
guides the style of their training and the people they can best serve.
Once the philosophy is established a trainer will need to create and
continually build a “toolbox”. This toolbox is a representational symbol
for the combination of the movements you will use, the types of workouts
you will perform, and the skill sets that you will deliver to the client
to ensure they are constantly progressing within your philosophy and
toward their goals. Essentially, your toolbox is your knowledge and
understanding of how to apply that knowledge to the benefit of your
client(s).

Responsibility and commitment are musts. A trainer will oftentimes be
required to put in very long or strange hours, keep their own schedule,
track their own finances, and generate their own clients, among other
responsibilities.

Furthermore, trainers must be patient. Finding clients and retaining
clients is not easy. Again, you won’t just get your certification and be
in top demand. You will have to prove yourself as a trainer, both to
bosses, clients, and yes, even yourself, before you will really find true
success. Additionally, Everyone wants to look good and be healthy and
everyone talks about looking good and being healthy but very few people
will actually put in the time and effort to actually do what it takes to
back that up. Based on my experience trainers oftentimes find another
career because they don’t understand the psychology behind what it takes
to get someone to commit to their own health and wellbeing and,
ultimately, give up. I don’t look down on or blame those who’ve quit
personal training because, even after doing this for fourteen years, I
still constantly feel like I want to see people improve more than they
want it for themselves and I still feel hopeless and like giving up at
times.

Lastly on my list, a trainer needs to be flexible. No, not physically.
Trainers are constantly faced with different challenges each and every
day. You may be faced with clients who have limitations that prevent them
from doing certain things and you will be forced to work around those
limitations. You may find yourself working with large groups one minute
and an individual client the next. You may have to make the best out of
less than ideal situations. This is where your toolbox comes in handy.

3. What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly
 do you do?

As an owner of a fitness facility I work six or seven days a week for an
average of about thirteen hours per day.

My responsibilities include training group classes and personal training
clients as well as all aspects of business operations (marketing,
meetings, website maintenance, membership collections, scheduling,
cleaning the gym, PR, social media, etc.). There is always more to be
done.

As for a trainer who is not an owner, work hours vary greatly. Oftentimes,
trainers will find that they work either early in the mornings before
people go to their jobs or late into the evenings after people get off
work, or both. This leaves a big gap in the middle of the day for a number
of trainers, especially in the beginning. Furthermore, most gyms will be
flexible about what hours a trainer will work which makes personal
training a great option for college students or part-time workers. Again,
the hard part can be finding clients so a trainer can always be working to
find new clients and promote/market themselves even when they are not
physically training someone.

There are other trainers and gym owners who work less and are just as, if
not more successful than I am, but I am still figuring out the perfect
balance. I truly love my business, my job, and helping people so working
hard does not seem like a sacrifice to me right now.

4. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your
 field? What path would you suggest?

Even though the field of personal training is lacking regulation I truly
believe that personal trainers have the ability to drastically improve the
quality of someone’s life, even more so than doctors, physical therapists,
and other medical or health care professionals at times. On the reverse
side of this, I also understand that trainers have the ability to severely
decrease the quality of someone’s life if the trainer is unknowledgeable
or negligent and, to this end, I believe that an academic personal
training degree (at least a masters degree) should be a minimum for our
field. This is not currently the case though things are moving in that
direction however.

Academic areas of study that will serve an aspiring trainer/strength and
conditioning coach include:
• Kinesiology
• Exercise Science
• Biomechanics
• Psychology
• Anatomy
• Exercise Physiology
• Pathopysiology
• Nutrition

Many trainers get some of the most useful information outside of academia
however, through seminars and supplementary certification courses. These
are invaluable considering the fact that much of what is taught in school
courses is outdated.

5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in
 your field?

I will give a couple pieces of advice…

Understand that there is no substitute for experience. I highly suggest
that an aspiring trainer experience multiple different trainers,
philosophies, methods/styles, etc. Most trainers will not have a problem
with being interviewed or shadowed during work. At Balance Point Fitness &
Athletics we are always open to questions and allowing observations.

Be patient and understand that success may take time – more time than you
may realize or be comfortable with.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS KEEP YOUR MIND OPEN! Don’t think that just because
you’ve been doing something a certain way for a period of time that it is
the best way. If you truly want to be the best trainer you will always be
looking for ways to expand what you do and improve upon what you already
do.

6.What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

Myth: “A trainer’s main focus is to train clients to reach their goals.”

Actually: While a trainer’s ultimate goal is to help a client reach their
own goals the time actually spent training the client is only a small part
of what it takes to get them there.

When I landed my first training job I thought I would just show up to the
gym and start training people. Boy was I wrong! I had to get clients
first. This required selling people on what I could do for them and why
they should train with me. So, actually, I was a salesman first and then I
got to train people (Don’t worry, if you are truly passionate about
helping people you won’t have to sell anyone about anything). And that’s
not the whole truth either…

Unfortunately, I realized that once I got good at selling people to try me
out as their trainer they were only staying around for an average of three
sessions. I needed to figure out how to keep them around so I didn’t have
to keep selling my services every day to new people. This meant I had to
be a salesman first and then I had to motivate, inspire, challenge, and
incentivize them to keep coming back. I’ve found there are many different
ways to do this but two of the most important ways are by creating
personal relationships with the clients and creating external motivators,
like partnering them with another client so they are accountable to
someone other than just themselves. I also realized that trying to
demonstrate all of my knowledge in one session was too much. I had to keep
impressing them with new and different pieces of information or techniques
that would help keep them interested to learn more next time.

In all honesty training a client is the final product of accomplishing all
of the other things first.

7. Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some
 pivotal points that changed your direction? 

Undoubtedly, there are many different paths to becoming a personal
trainer. You will have to find the path that is best for you and getting
as much experience around different trainers and different styles as
possible will help to do that. Even though my philosophy and training
style has changed multiple times over the years I still see my path as
being somewhat linear. At a relatively early age I knew that I wanted to
be a personal trainer/strength and conditioning coach so I did what I
thought was best at that time to be one. I went from learning as much as I
could from the people I thought would know best, to getting my personal
training certification, to being an intern, to being a better trainer, to
being a manager of personal trainers, and now to being a gym owner.

8. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

The biggest personal qualities that have helped me are:
• Personality (positive and encouraging)
• Commitment
• Responsibility
• Trustworthy
• Truly caring about others
• Patience
• Always trying to do what is right
• Just being a good person

 9. What do you most enjoy about your career?

I am truly rewarded by the relationships I have developed over the years
with my clients. Many of my clients, both current and former, are some of
my best friends. Also I most enjoy being able to positively help people
lead better lives and witness the quality of their lives improve. It’s not
uncommon that I have clients come up and tell me that they are able to do
something they never thought they would be able to do again or that I have
literally saved their life!

 10. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

Just being in a gym where you get to interact with trainers and fitness
professionals. For those who are past high school and in college, actually
working as a trainer part-time is a great way to help work your way
through school and gain experience simultaneously. That is the way I did
it. Again, this is not the only path to becoming a trainer but definitely
a popular option among many trainers.

 11. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

On the business side I have my bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State
University in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.

On the personal training side, I am certified through several different
certification agencies for various things:
• ISSA Certified Personal Trainer
• CrossFit Certified Personal Trainer
• CSCS Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach
• Pose Running Method Certified
• Nutrition Certified
• Paleo Nutrition Certified
• CrossFit Football Certified
• CPR/AED Certified

Additionally, I have participated in countless personal training/nutrition
seminars and courses as well as have taken classes related to physical
therapy that have enhanced my personal training abilities.

Anatomy
Pathophysiology
Physics
Chemistry
Holistic Health
Kinesiology – Peak Performance
Eastern and Western Health Perspectives

 12. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be
interested in? and why?

I am actually in the process of obtaining my teaching credentials for elementary school and physical education. This stems from my love and
passion for wanting to positively help others and make an influential
impact in their lives.

Website to find out more about you:

www.BalancePointFA.com

 

#TDT Jason Williams…A day in the life of a Police Officer!

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts

1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice? 

Jason Williams, Commander of Support Services (Ret.) Bellwood Police Department Bellwood, ILWork Photo-2
21 year veteran of the force

I was 15 when I first thought about joining the police department only because my father was a police officer. In fact, he was the first black police officer in the Village of Bellwood in 1978. I was able to grow up watching him come home for lunch in uniform and he allowed me to sit in his police car and turn on the emergency lights. Seeing all this gave an unfair advantage to the field but I did not originally want to go in this direction. I first wanted to go to school to be a lawyer. As I got older I realized the overwhelming urge to go into law enforcement. So In 1994 I decided to apply to work part-time as a police officer. I figured I could actually work the job at a less intense level and still determine if I wanted to do this for a living. I worked 1 year as a part-time officer and was immediately hooked. In 1995, I got hired on as a full-time law enforcement officer.

2. What types of qualities are important for this career choice? (What do employers look for? Tips to help them get hired)

In today’s world of law enforcement employers like to see NO criminal background in their candidates. It doesn’t stop there but I want to focus on that area. When I go to middle and high schools to talk to the students on career day I always stress the importance of NOT having a criminal background. Most students don’t realize that criminal arrests, no matter how small follow them throughout their life. Even if you do commit a minor crime and get the arrest expunged your background will still show that you were arrested. It will not show why and the particulars of the case. And employers may pass over your application just from seeing the arrest. This is why I stress to teenagers to stay out of trouble and stay away from the trouble kids cause trouble can affect your tomorrow.

Police Departments usually like to see their candidates have other qualities like college degrees and military training. Having these experiences should show employers that you have some education and a “go- get’em” attitude. The education area shows that you can write and have the ability to accomplish a higher degree. The military background shows that you were able to accomplish physical fitness goals and are very disciplined. Because most police departments mirror a lot of what the military does and they love to have candidates with military experience. They actually get preference points for it and can be hired over other candidates without the experience.

They also like to see someone who is street smart and can navigate the town/city. People who have a heart and can talk to people. Sometimes book smarts is not always good without street smarts. In fact, in my opinion a person who is really book smart but has not street smarts may actually have a hard time working in the lawn enforcement field. May even be dangerous for them. There are so many other attributes that I think are important but that’s a whole other conversation.

3. What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do?

For the last 10 years I was a supervisor so my day was mostly inside at a desk. I did a lot of phone calling and ordering supplies for the officers and department. I fixed computers in the station and in the police cars as well as the radio system. I wen to meetings several times a week and dealt with the public daily. I was the person who took care of customer service issues and complaints. I was also the Fleet manager so I had to get cars fixed, oil changed and items repaired. I was very busy and there was always something to do. I trained officers on computer software and reset passwords when they forgot them. I also hired new officers and gave them new equipment, set up their training etc. I was the “go-to” person in a medium size department and I was responsible for several different areas.

Prior to that, I was an officer on the street. I answered calls for help when people were fighting or stealing items from a store. I prevented crime by driving around looking for criminals daily. I also was a school liaison officer. I worked in the local junior high school for 8 hrs a day. I talked this the kids and help them through problems and when students were fighting with each other. I ran a conflict resolution program which helped kids talk through their differences and resolve disputes.

4. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest?

I would suggest kids get a criminal justice degree. I believe the higher you go the more opportunity comes your way. Not ALL police departments require a degree. Most only ask for a high school diploma. But if you think you may want to be promoted one day, a higher degree may help. Although, a higher degree is not required to be promoted either. If I had a chance to do it all over again I would have stayed in school to finish my college degree sooner and gone straight to the Federal Police (ie FBI, US Marshalls, DEA). A lot more opportunity and you get to see the world for free.

5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

See #4. But also, if you want to become a police officer, keep in mind you can not save the world. There are a lot of bad people out their who you can’t help. It is very dangerous and you could get hurt. If you’re not willing to give of yourself and go the extra mile to help those that may be less fortunate then this job may not be for you. You will no get rich but you might change a mind for the better and/or save a life. This is where your riches will be.

6.What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

Law enforcement is not rewarding and you are always in harms way. In today’s world it is kinda dangerous just because of a few bad seeds out their but overall it can be rewarding. Financially, depending on which department you are hired at you can make some good money. Overtime is a big deal with police work and can make you rich if you are disciplined with your money and put it in the right places. The best thing about la enforcement is that you get a pension that will pay you and your spouse until you leave this earth. After working 20 years you can retire and still be young enough to start another career. Most of the time officer move into high level management careers and really start to make $.

7. Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction? 

As stated previously, I watched my dad work in law enforcement and he is a lot of the reason why I went into law enforcement. If I had’ve gone to be a lawyer like I originally wanted to I probably be very well off (financially). But GOD evidently wanted me to touch hearts in a different way and I am thankful for my career.

8. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

I believe because I have a giving heart and have a vested interest in the neighborhood I grew up in to give back this has allowed me to be successful. You have to want to do the job and do it for a good reason. Not for the money or benefits. Whatever job you go into you have to have the drive to give back. This is what propels you to succeed in your position. Feeling good about what you do and who you do it for. Giving your best and knowing its helping or making a difference.
9. What do you most enjoy about your career?

I really enjoyed my co-workers and the citizens I helped. I saw many friends who I went to high school with and have helped their kids with projects or even law enforcement jobs. I was always a man of intergrity and I got a lot of positive feedback from the people in the neighborhood who felt I did a good job and treated them with respect. I am very thankful for this and to this day I am still invited to come and speak to the children on career day at the local schools.

10. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

Internships always help. I recommend getting an internship and work at the business you are trying to go into. Sometimes you will find that the atmosphere you want is not exactly what you thought it might be. Plus you get to meet the important people that might hire you and they will see what kind of person you are and if your the right fit for the department.

11. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

Most departments only require a high school diploma. But many are moving to requiring a bachelor’s degree. After you go through a written exam, physical exam and other testing you must attend the police academy for 4 months (apprx.)

12. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? and why?

I would have become a lawyer. That’s what I originally wanted to become and since I am retired from law enforcement I may still go back to school to do this. I enjoy working around laws that govern our society. I believe I could have been a lot more financially stable in this career.

As a side note, I enjoy coming out to talk with kids in person about their career choices and the importance of keeping themselves out of trouble. This is another way I give back and makes my career choice all the more enjoyable. I hope this helps and do not hesitate in asking questions or more clarification.

#TDT Mimi Moseley…A Day in the life of a Winemaker and Entrepreneur.

Mimi Moseley’s favorite quotes: I have two. “It is never too late to be who you were meant to be.” And…”If you are in the right, don’t do anything to put yourself in the wrong.”

1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice?

Mimi Moseley 2011Mimi Moseley co-owner Moseley Family Cellars; we have been in our field for over 25 years, but professionally for six. We have been making wine for about 13 years in the Bay Area, in 2009 we
decided to move to Redding and make winemaking our new profession. The process was quite a bit more challenging than we had hoped but we filed all of the paper work with the state and federal government which enabled us to open our doors.

2. What types of qualities are important for this career choice?

Our heart is quite a bit different from your typical employer. Our goal is to have people who: 1-Love Redding 2-Have a desire to love people 3-Love the art of winemaking. Winemaking is like art…one can take classes on how to do it; but unless there is a natural pull toward creation, chemistry and art all the classes in the world would not prepare the student for this career.

3. What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do?

Our tasting room is open Thursday – Sunday 12-5. The tasting room is where we encounter the public as the customers come to taste and purchase wine. As time permits, we love to take the guests on a tour of the winery. The magic happens in the winery as our winemaker Marty works almost everyday tasting wine and determining whether a blend or any tweeks are needed for each wine. This is where the science/chemistry comes in, as well as math, to see what ratios of changes need to be made to make the wine the best it can be. Guests love seeing him in action.

 4. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest?

UC Davis offers a viticulture degree. There are so many areas of growing which would benefit someone interested in winemaking. We do not grow our own grapes so our focus is more on the quality of the grapes we purchase and then the dedication to making the best quality wine from the best quality grapes we secure. Also, Shasta College offers some viticulture classes. These are good steps toward learning the craft.

5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

Chemistry is your friend. Math is your friend. Partner those and get ready for the magic to begin.

6.What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

Wine drinkers are all alcoholic & wine promotes alcoholism. Most winemakers taste and spit the wines they are tasting. The drinking of wine is an artistic experience which goes back hundreds of years. France and Germany started this craft as big business, but the drinking of wine with meals goes back to Biblical days. We love the experience of pairing foods and making a wine/food event something that brings joy and community.

 Is there only ONE path to get into this profession?

Absolutely not! An artist can be a winemaker. A chemist can be a winemaker and as can a mathematician. It is the love of the craft which moves the student to learn.

7. Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction? 

I was a inspirational speaker in my “other life” so interacting with the public was a natural for me. Owning a small business is the hardest part. There are local, state and federal requirements which can suck the joy out of a winemaker. Though government can make it tough, tasting the top quality wine we produce encourages us to keep at it. One never knows the future, we seem to have made it past the beginner hurdles and we are enjoying the huge support Redding has granted us to make us known and successful.

8. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

We absolutely LOVE people. Our goal is to impact people to enjoy life, food and community. If these are not you, this is not the career for you.

9. What do you most enjoy about your career?

I love going to the tasting room because I never know who will cross my path that day. Meeting new people is great and doing each day afresh is exciting.

 10. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

We hire “cellar rats”. These are often young men and women who do all of our dirty work. From pitchforking grapes into the de-stemmer to bottling to taking out the garbage…they do it all. Work experience on a farm or in janitorial gets your feet wet for hard work. A smart cellar rat can learn the reason behind the cleanliness required and the hard work needed for a task. That rat can move up to winemaking, as many do, and even manage a winery.

11. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

Most winemakers have a viticulture degree. Our winemaker already had a business degree which is paramount for owning a business. Having a BA under your belt opens doors which would not have opened otherwise. Some of our cellar rats have degrees. Hiring them showed us they can work toward a goal and achieve it. This is not to say someone without a degree would not be a great winemaker, but the determination to achieve their degree speaks loudly. Either way, with us, one would start at the bottom. We do the dirty work as the owners and we expect the same from the rats.

With that said, there is also a position called a sommelier . A “som” can pretty much write their own ticket as they study the characteristics of wines from all over the world. There are four levels. The first is pretty easy to obtain, but the following training takes great dedication. We have a “level 2” som who works for us, as well as a local fine restaurant, who is working toward her “level 3”. The final level is a “Master Sommelier” who can make in excess of over $150,000 a year at top restaurants. Redding has a few level 1’s and two level 2 soms. When our gal gets her level 3 she will be making VERY good money.

12. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? and why?

I have already had my other career. I don’t think we will ever retire, but I hope this career affords me the opportunity to mentor those interested in winemaking.

If there is anything else that you would like to add about you or your career for our LaunchPad readers, please do so here: (community involvement, advice, suggestions, etc.) 

Yes, learn about your community. If “Leadership High School” is offered at your school, sign up! Often young people are not exposed to their community in ways which can spark the light to see where they can be of value. I grew up in Atlanta and knew a lot of the history, but just from classes I took. When we moved to Redding, I immediately applied for “Leadership Redding” which opened my eyes to the amazing community where I chose to live. This group showed me everything from the history of Redding; to social services; to education; to public safety and more. I learned so much about our community and I LOVE living here. Young people want more and often leave Redding to go “find their way” only to be led back to our great city when they realize they had a fabulous place to live and raise a family all along. Leadership Redding can show you that path is right here. It will also make you aware of how important non-profits are to a community. Volunteering at any of these can help to see how giving of ourselves makes others better. We are bettered as a result.

  Website to find out more about you:

    www.moseleyfamilycellars.com