Reaching goals with Rachel
Set a Goal!
Many of our staff participated in the TalentWatch employee engagement survey by taking the survey and/or participating in the follow-up discussion and action planning. For those who took part, you may recall that one of the items that we rated in the TalentWatch survey was:
* My leader identifies top performers and creates ways to engage and retain them.
As a College, our overall rating was 3.37. That included a 42.31% favorable response, 39.94% Neutral response, and 17.75% unfavorable response.
Make a Plan!
We hear you! The College is working on ways to identify, engage and retain high performing and high potential employees. Please see the Engagement and Talent Management Plan (pg. 17) for more details https://libs.morainepark.edu/docs/hr/hr/employee-engagement-plan-2016-2020-final.pdf. This Fall, we are beginning phase one of the talent assessment and review process by completing job profiling and high potential assessment for supervisors. In future years, all employees will be eligible to be nominated to participate, based on criteria.
In the meantime, employees are working with their supervisors and me (Director of Talent Management) to review their career goals and identify appropriate career paths and development.
Recently an MPTC employee, Rachel Weber, reached a career goal. She was mindful throughout her journey by setting a goal, making a plan and working hard. I wanted Rachel to share some of her experience to help inspire others to identify their goal and create an achievable path to success. Here’s Rachel’s journey…
What is your title?
How long have you worked for MPTC?
I have worked at MPTC for 6+ years. My start date was July 12, 2010. 🙂
What positions have you held at MPTC?
Prior: Disability Resource Specialist, Academic Advisor Current: Accommodation Specialist
Tell us a little about your new position – your goal:
Working as an Accommodation specialist has been my goal for the past several years. I knew when I first started in my role as a Disability Resource Specialist, that someday I would like to pursue the position of Accommodation Specialist.
In this position I am responsible for working with students who choose to disclose a disability with the intent of receiving accommodations. I then meet with students to get a “big picture” of their needs as it relates to accommodations while at Moraine Park Technical College. After I review documentation, an accommodation plan is developed to give the student access to promote success for that student. The student would then share their accommodation plan with their instructor and continue to work with Disability Resources as well to put them in a position to be successful.
What key experiences have you received at MPTC that will help you be successful in your new position?
Some key experiences that will help me be successful as an Accommodation Specialist include serving the college in my previous roles. Working in Disability Resources previously certainly prepared me for much of the duties and processes involved in my current role. I was well aware of our policies and procedures and understood our role in the college. Also having built solid relationships with the staff in Disability Resources made an easy transition. Serving the college as an Advisor also assisted me in an easier transition. I was very comfortable working with students in a 1:1 setting and also knew a lot about how our admissions processes work and had a good general idea of several programs here at the college. I also came to my current position with knowledge of our computer systems (i.e. Banner, myMPTC, morainepark.edu, etc). Additionally, I served on some work teams and was very involved in professional development while also seeking out relationships with others at the college in order to build rapport with those individuals who serve in various roles throughout our three main campuses.
Tell us a little about your career exploration experience. What helped? What might you change?
Because I knew my goal was to obtain an Accommodation Specialist position and having a master’s degree was an asset in obtaining that position, I decided early on to go back to college and earn that degree. I started my master’s degree in the fall of 2011 and earned my degree from Lakeland University in May 2014 in Counseling with an emphasis in Higher Education. After I earned my advanced degree, I knew my goal could possibly be a reality someday. I spoke to my supervisor about my goals and some individuals who were already in the position of Accommodation Specialist to find out more about what I could do to learn more about the position and how to better prepare myself for the potential of one day having the option to apply for the job. The support I received from those individuals was very valuable in that they were available to me to help me find ways to improve upon myself professionally. In addition, I spoke to Beth Mendoza. Beth was beyond helpful in her approach and was very willing to help me on my quest to achieve my professional goals. Beth would put things into a perspective that I hadn’t thought of previously with a very clear understanding of my goals and what might help me or hinder me in achieving those goals.
How long was your journey to obtaining your goal (how many years in the making)?
My journey became more real after earning my master’s degree in 2014, so I would say about 2 years.
What were the most influential life experiences that made you choose the goal of becoming an Accommodations Specialist?
I grew up with an uncle who had an intellectual disability and a cousin who has Down Syndrome, they both inspired me to want to work as a Special Education Teacher (I have a bachelor’s degree in Special Education). I saw my grandma’s relationship with my uncle and admired her persistence and the way she served as an advocate for not only her child, but other people with disabilities as well; she certainly inspired me! I also enjoyed spending time with my cousin and learning more about how his educational system was serving his needs. I enjoy serving as an advocate myself, and get joy out of working with people. When I starting working at the post-secondary level, I knew I never wanted to leave! I get a lot out of what I do and the capacity in which I serve people and our community. This career is a perfect fit for me!
What are you most excited about in your new position?
I would say that I am most excited about serving students in this position. I am powered by learning more daily and gaining a greater understanding of serving the population that I do, here at Moraine Park. There is a lot of variety in my job. I sometimes think of my job as putting a puzzle together, I find pieces all around and need to put them in place in order to make sense of the bigger picture. I am very joyful to have found a career that I love and that I plan to grow with for many years to come!
Do you have any advice for others who are looking for a new or greater challenge?
I would tell someone who is looking for new or greater challenges to talk to their colleagues, supervisor, and Beth about some opportunities to grow. I would also advise a person to find out more about where his or her interests lie and try to find a “match” and then research that “match” so he or she can determine some steps to take in order to be a better fit for that position. I am also a believer in visualizing a desire and maintaining positive thinking while actively doing what can be done to achieve success!
Congratulations, Rachel, and best wishes in your new position!