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Professionals share success stories at career expo

Written March 12th, 2015 by
Categories: In The News

The Star – March 12, 2015
By Kathryn Bassett

Dave VanDerbosch, left, and Matt Hartman, right, of the Garrett Electric Department show Garrett High School student Scott Hjelm the climbing gear worn by those in their trade at the DeKalb County Career Development Expo Thursday.

Dave VanDerbosch, left, and Matt Hartman, right, of the Garrett Electric Department show Garrett High School student Scott Hjelm the climbing gear worn by those in their trade at the DeKalb County Career Development Expo Thursday.

AUBURN — There will be bumps in the road and challenges to face, Rod Knox of Impact Institute told students and job-seekers who attended a program Thursday at the DeKalb County Career Development Expo.

But, Knox added, “Never, ever stop dreaming where you want to be. Keep those dreams alive.”

Knox’s encouragement came on the heels of advice shared by three professionals during a “success story” panel at the expo at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.

The expo was targeted toward unemployed and under-employed adults, as well as high school juniors and seniors. A total of 44 employers and educational providers were on hand to provide information about career opportunities available in DeKalb County and the education needed to secure those positions.

The event also featured human resources panel discussions, interview and resume workshops and guidance on financial aid options and saving.

During the “success story” panel, Joyce Baker shared her journey that led to her current position in career services at Ivy Tech.

Baker said she attended college right after high school, but stayed for only three semesters. Baker said she married young, started a family and “took a lot of wrong turns along the way.”

For 12 years, Baker said, she worked for the post office, but ended up without a job when her facility closed.

Ultimately, Baker went to Ivy Tech and majored in office administration. Now she helps other students decide what paths to take in achieving their career goals.

“Know what you really want to do and get on the path toward that,” Baker said. “Stay on the path, even if you’re just standing on the path — just stay on it, because eventually you’ll get there.”

Baker said college career services departments offer resources to help students decide which educational and career paths to take. Ivy Tech also offers a test that can help a person in deciding on a career to pursue, she added.

Jon Everingham told the gathering how he transitioned from a successful and lucrative career in business to becoming an educator.

Everingham acknowledged that he had earned a substantial salary in business and sales.

“But for me, my life wasn’t going to be centered around money,” Everingham added.

For the past 10 years, Everingham has worked in education and currently is the assistant director at the Impact Institute in Kendallville. Everingham noted that sometimes goals can be so huge, they seem unattainable.

“Sometimes you need to take little baby steps along the way,” he advised.

Jill Devine of the Walmart Distribution Center said her commitment to her job and doing what she was supposed to while on the job contributed to her rise to success in the human resources profession.

Knox encouraged those attending the panel session to develop a support system and not to be afraid to ask for help on the road to achieving their goals.

The expo was presented by the DeKalb Chamber Partnership, Learning Link DeKalb County and WorkOne Northeast and sponsored by the DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership, Freedom Academy, DeKalb Molded Plastics, The Grove Fort Wayne, Kendallville Manor, Group Dekko, PHP of Northern Indiana and Questa.