To some, college graduation is an exciting time when graduates can finally embark on their chosen careers. To others—like Julianna Hauri—college graduation represents a stressful time, filled with uncertainty about which career path is the right one. Luckily for Julianna, though, the power of connectivity was working in her favor, and she didn’t have to look further than a close relative to get the guidance she needed to find a fulfilling career at Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU).
Julianna’s newly-awarded degree in psychology gave her a multitude of possibilities for a future career. Narrowing down those possibilities would prove to be the difficult part. She knew she enjoyed working with people and was mildly considering exploring a career in research when her aunt Katrin Kasper stepped forward with a suggestion: she should explore opportunities with WOU.
Katrin had discovered WOU several years back when she learned that a relative with cerebral palsy was having difficulty securing a job. She was working in clothing retail management at the time and although she was unable to help her relative find a job due to their lack of proximity to her, she knew she had to do something to help someone locally. She contacted the state to find out what resources were available to help her connect people with disabilities with jobs and was referred to WOU.
After September 11th, Katrin, like many others, took a look a hard look at her life. She said, “I wanted to do something that mattered to me, something more meaningful than just selling clothes, and the one thing that made sense and the place where I always felt at home was WOU, so I applied for a position and spent several years helping clients find success in the workplace.”
Her long experience with WOU and knowledge about the type of person who would succeed in a position with the company gave Katrin the impetus to suggest that Julianna consider a career there. Katrin said, “I really believe in the message and the power of the company, and I thought Julianna would, too. She has incredible intelligence and a great background that I felt would make her extremely valuable to the organization.”
Julianna had never heard of WOU, so she set off to explore the company. She commented, “I visited WOU’s website, and although I had heard the term ‘job coach’ once or twice in the past, I didn’t understand what that meant. But after reading about WOU and looking back at friends with disabilities who had difficulties in finding work, I put the pieces together and realized why this company existed, and I really got excited about exploring career opportunities with WOU.”
Soon after, Julianna applied for a position with WOU and was hired as a Career Resource Specialist on WOU’s Braintree team. As her first job out of college, Julianna quickly put a misconception to rest. “I felt like everyone in my college class had a sense that our first adult-world jobs would be terrible and our bosses would make us work horrible hours and nobody would help us. At WOU, that couldn’t be further from the truth! I love the position, the clients are wonderful, and the team is a lifesaver.”
Katrin is ecstatic that Julianna followed in her WOU footsteps. “Julianna always had an amazing ability to figure out what was special about each and every person and she always had empathy and compassion,” Katrin commented. “As I watched her grow, I could really see how she could fit in the WOU family, and it’s exciting to hear her talk about her job now and see how much she really cares.”
The power of connectivity means using connections to help others explore new career paths and opening doors to job opportunities. We all have it in us, so how will you use your power of connectivity?