Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU) creates new opportunities for success in the workplace every day, both for clients and for team members. As a military spouse, Krystyn Case has moved frequently throughout her 9-year administrative career with WOU, but she has consistently supported the company’s mission of producing successful work outcomes for those with barriers to employment. Now Krystyn has taken on an additional role, assisting young WOU clients on their journey to meaningful careers. She truly represents the spirit of WOU and is a shining example of the flexibility, growth, and job satisfaction WOU offers its team!

Krystyn was pursuing a degree in elementary education in New Hampshire when her husband embarked on his career with the U.S. Navy over 30 years ago. Their first move was to a remote area of North Carolina with no nearby colleges, and online courses were not yet offered, so Krystyn had to pause her education. Over the years, the couple grew their family and moved frequently – 20 times as of mid-2024. “I really wanted to be a teacher. It was just too hard with four kids, deployments, moves that often took us to locations without educational opportunities that worked for me,” shares Krystyn. “I would enroll somewhere, and start taking classes, and then we would have to go again. It was frustrating.” Krystyn successfully earned an associate’s degree with an abundance of credits. She worked brief part-time positions when she could, dreaming of a job she could take with her wherever she went. Then she heard about WOU.

Her sister, who was a member of WOU’s Administrative Resources Team (ART) for about a year, encouraged her to apply for an opening on the team. The role was fully remote, which fit Krystyn’s needs. Plus, WOU’s mission aligned perfectly with Krystyn’s values. “At the time I had been volunteering with a military-friendly group and I had headed up this program called the Family Readiness Group, which specifically targets needs of military families when their spouse is deployed,” she recalls. “I loved it, but we were moving and that was going to be ending for me. It was really important to me to be a part of an organization that I feel is having an impact on people’s lives for the better. Work Opportunities checked all of the boxes for me.”

When Krystyn joined WOU as an Administrative Assistant, she says, “I was so happy. It was perfect, because I can do it from anywhere.” She has supported operations in various markets in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maryland throughout her tenure. When she needed a break after covering extra work during COVID, her boss Jennifer Hagman, Director of Administrative Resources, took some tasks off Krystyn’s plate until she was ready to increase her work load again, which Krystyn really appreciated. Jennifer says, “Krystyn is all about being a team player. She goes above and beyond to help her team and the teams that she supports any way that she can. You can truly tell how much she cares about the work that she does and the people that she works with.”

In the fall of 2023, Krystyn was ready for a new challenge: virtual job coaching with WOU’s Explore Work program for students in the Annapolis, MD area, in coordination with Vocational Rehabilitation. “I was so excited because I wanted to teach and wasn’t able to, so this was a really natural way for me to get involved with students,” says Krystyn. Jennifer encouraged Krystyn to do both positions, confident that she would continue to excel as an ART member while also being a Career Resource Specialist (CRS) for students.

Krystyn’s ART role had previously supported the Annapolis team, so she had a close working relationship with Chessa Smith, Director of Career Services. Chessa says, “Krystyn took to the program quickly. She has an engaging personality and her care and patience won over students. She teaches the Explore Work virtual program and is now an expert, and recently started into other student programs as well. She is a joy to watch teach; she has a kind and approachable nature with students, and she makes the program personal. My only regret is not thinking of this sooner! I am so glad she is enjoying teaching and being a CRS on the Annapolis team… As ART she was essential to our success and kept us all on track and in order, and now with her CRS portion she is an even bigger part of our team and can help shape the process for students moving forward!”

Describing herself as “super extroverted,” Krystyn finds her CRS work fulfilling. She enjoys supporting each student with pre-employment services, helping them identify their unique interests and goals and prepare for work or college in the future. “I already appreciated our job coaches. I knew their jobs were hard, but this has given me a greater appreciation for them,” shares Krystyn. “They are really the superstars of the company. You can’t be half in; you have to be 100% in. It’s tough, but also really rewarding, so I’m glad I get to be a little bit a part of that.”

She has found a great rhythm in balancing both roles, completing her administrative work before meeting with students each afternoon. Reporting to two bosses, Jennifer and Chessa, is also easy for Krystyn: “They’re wonderful people and great listeners. I love them both.” Krystyn says there are several other ART members who are also job coaching, and some CRSs have switched to ART as well. “I really like that the company is so open to letting people move around and explore different areas and different career paths, or do both! WOU is such a great company for seeking the talent that we have within and allowing people to move around and find their best place,” she says. “I’m really grateful for the people that I work with, and I’m happy to be a part of this organization.”