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Meet our New Blogger: Erika

fffffErika Wheeler

Year: Senior?!

Major: Community Health

Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana!

Career goal: To improve the health and well-being of my community

As a kid, the question of what I wanted to do when I grew up was always an easy one – I wanted to be a writer. I was constantly scribbling, in books and notebooks, on envelopes and walls. I even playcomposed a few “books”, including The Official Garage Saler’s Handbook, a how-to guide for aspiring yard-sale-throwers, chock full of such pearls as “Rule #3: Please, no used underwear”. In 5th grade, I entered the Herald Time’s Mini-Play Contest, and won! This gave me the opportunity to bring my words and work to life, as I directed and starred in my play, “Who Stole the Cookies?” (spoiler alert: it was the dog!). I felt like my dream of becoming a writer was well on its way to becoming a reality. I didn’t realize it at the time,but that moment was the culmination of my writing “career”. After that, as I prepared to enter middle school, my dream was neglected and buried under piles of cheap, neon cosmetics and trashy teen magazines. The extent of my writing was relegated to notebooks plastered with pictures of boybands, shared with my friends, passed in between classes. Eventually, this got us into trouble, and after that I had trouble putting my personal thoughts down on paper. And so my indefinite hiatus from writing began.

Fast-forward to high school. Mainly because of the aforementioned school trouble, I chose to attend an alternative high school – Aurora Alternative High School. Aurora was alternative in many ways. The most obvious being a 4-hour school day. This afforded little ole’ high school me with ample free time to get a job. I started working at Bloomington Bagel Company and kept this job all through high school, until minimum wage and free bagels weren’t cutting it anymore. After that, I worked my way through the service industry, checking jobs off my list such as: newspaper carrier, laundromat attendant, maid, barista, retail clerk. All this and more by the time I was 19. At this point, college hadn’t even crossed my mind. But as I cycled through job after job, I felt something was missing.

erika2

At 20, by sheer luck, I landed a great job as a part-time receptionist at a local law firm. I quickly worked my way up to a full-time legal assistant. Soon after, I accepted a position in Brown County as a property manager of vacation rentals. By 21, I had two full-time jobs and was commuting an hour and a half between them every day. This went on for nearly two years. It wasn’t until I reconnected with my 2nd grade crush and eventual husband at age 23 that I heard the phrase that changed my path completely: “Work smarter, not harder,” he told me. Yes, now I know this is a pretty common phrase. But I had never heard it before and, for me, it was a complete revelation! I sure had worked hard, but never very smart. I took whatever jobs came along and worked them with all my might. I said ‘yes’ to every opportunity, without discretion. This led me to being incredibly overworked and ready for retirement! At 23! Indeed, the time had come to work smarter, not harder. I didn’t want a job anymoreI wanted a career. It was finally time for college.

And so here I am, a 26-year-old senior in the School of Public Health. I certainly didn’t take the traditional path here, but traditional has never been my style. As far as what comes next, I can’t say for sure, but I can tell you this – it sure feels good to be writing again! And I look forward to doing plenty more of that this semester, here on the SPH Career Services Blog. Stay tuned!

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Categories: Blogger Introductions

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IUSPH Career Services

Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:

•career counseling
•internships
•job placement
•volunteer opportunities
•resume and cover letter preparation
•interview skills
•networking
•graduate school preparation

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