Catherine Wiersma

catherine_wiersmaMajor: Biology (Botany, Environmental Science and Field Biology)

Describe your current job role:

I was recently an AmeriCorps VISTA serving in the PBA Workship office until August 2017, recruiting and organizing volunteers for service in the Parker Avenue Schools. I now attend graduate school in Costa Rica from 2017-2018.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

I have held many odd jobs throughout the years such as a receptionist, and as a retail sales member, and as a summer camp staff member. My professional experience is mostly from interning in sustainability, agriculture, and wildlife rehabilitation

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

It’s hard not to be able to go home for a nap/snack break in the middle of the day!

"The most professional preparation I received at PBA was from my experience in the SAIL office."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

While my classes prepared me academically, I feel that the most professional preparation I received at PBA was from my experience in the SAIL office. My role on the Student Activity Board, Impact Leadership Team, and Steering Committee, helped me learn how to conduct myself in an office setting, how to interview well, and how to work effectively on a team.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

Connections are crucial! Take advantage of networking opportunities, and use the resources provided by the Career Development Office.

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you?

Kim Ladd has been very helpful since I’ve been out of college. She has sent me several job openings in my field as well as secured my entry to a local conference for Women in the Energy Industry. I wish I had gotten to know her sooner! She is such a special person and mentor.

Spotlight posted in October 2017.