Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Leadership Associate

Although Kelsi Cooke graduated from CU last year with a degree in journalism, it was her internship and work experiences during college that led to her pursuing a career in another field.

“Throughout my college experience, I worked at a few start up businesses and really enjoyed the entrepreneurial atmosphere and decided I am interested in having my own business someday,” Kelsi said.

“Since I didn’t get a business degree, I took a job with Consolidated Graphics to learn how businesses operate.”

Kelsi first discovered this opportunity at Consolidated Graphics because she worked at Career Services. As a sophomore, Kelsi visited the Career Services office for the first time to learn about job prospects in the journalism industry. Over the course of her college career, Kelsi worked with career counselors to gain assistance with writing and editing her resume. She sought advice on how to network with professionals in industries that interested her so that she could decide which internships would help prepare her for the career path of her choice. Kelsi also used Career Services Online, the job posting system in Career Services, to  search for and apply to internships and jobs for after graduation, including her current job at Consolidated Graphics.

As a Leadership Associate at Tewell Warren Printing, a Consolidated Graphics company, Kelsi’s job entails extensive training in all of the different departments of the printing business in rotations that last from 6 weeks to 1 year. As she goes through the rotations and learns about “how it all fits together to successfully run a printing business,” Kelsi notes any suggestions she has to improve efficiency.

What does a day in Kelsi’s life look like?
> At 7 a.m., Kelsi wakes up.
> At 7:40 a.m., she heads to work.
> At 8 a.m., Kelsi gets to work and then checks in her current supervisor to see if she has any work for her to follow up on.
> At 8:30 a.m., she has a Luna Bar breakfast.
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> From 9 to 12, Kelsi works on various projects. In fact, she goes through different rotations every few months. Right now, she works in accounting, so the company controller is teaching Kelsi how to handle daily accounting tasks such as assembling various reports, especially at end of month. In addition, Kelsi is also working on getting new insulation installed in the company’s warehouse, planning the company 50th anniversary party, learning about their solutions software, and more!
> From 12 to 1 p.m., Kelsi takes a break for lunch.
> From 1 to 5 p.m., Kelsi works on tasks that are similar to those she tackles in the morning, “although no days are the same and there is hardly any sense of routine,” she explained. In the afternoons in the accounting rotation, she gets the mail and handles all of the accounts receivable and payable for the day. In other words, she receives invoices and matches them with purchase orders so the company can pay its vendors. She also deposits all checks they receive that day
> Between 5 and 6 p.m., when her projects are completed or she has reached a stopping point for the day, Kelsi heads home.

What’s ahead for Kelsi?
“I would ideally like to keep learning about business at my current job, but then get more involved in some sort of start up, entrepreneurial project.”

What advice do you have for current CU students?
When Kelsi was in college, she was constantly busy with one or more jobs. Armed with these work experiences, Kelsi said she was able to build her resume in a way that emphasized the various leadership positions and internships she held that also helped her develop her communication skills.

“Showing that you can effectively write and have good verbal communication is a plus for any employer,” she explained.

Looking back on her own experience in college, Kelsi suggested that, in addition to getting a job in college, CU students should get involved in any extracurricular activities of their choosing so they can demonstrate their interests, skills and experiences to employers.