Dana Nordyke is the new Career Service Specialist here at Washburn University. She works one-on-one with students to help them change majors as well as teaching some classes. She helps students get prepared for life after graduation and become more confident with their college experience so they can carry it over to the workforce. Nordyke said that working at Washburn, in such a unified office where students can walk in and see, is something that she really enjoys. It portrays a team which, in an essence, is what Washburn University is.
Nordyke didn't know what to do when she finished college. But soon she decided she wanted to become a counselor. She went back to school, and used the “ten step coffee series” where she met with her mentors who showed her that a job in higher education was the best fit for her. They believed this because she enjoyed working with college students and the college enviroment.
Nordyke had received a lot of schooling once she decided she wanted to become a counselor. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business and Administration with a minor in economics and a Master of Science in Counseling and Student Development. Along with that, she is doing a dissertation for her PhD in student affairs in higher education. She put all of this education to use at K-State where she worked there for ten years as an Assistant Director. Working in a team of 16 people, where she had people to do the little things for her, like schedule meetings and appointments, was what she was used to. It was a good establishment, but with her living in Topeka and commuting everyday, it just made more sense for her to work closer to home if she was still able to do what she loved.
When she applied for the job at Washburn, she knew this was the best place for her.
“I will say that it was during the interview that I was 100% convinced that Washburn is where I want to be,” says Nordyke.
The “home-like atmosphere” on campus is something that really appealed to her. Walking on the sidewalk with Kent McAnally, she was impressed with how people would just walk by and say hello as if everyone knew everyone. Being a part of a fun and supportive staff is one of the things Nordyke loves about her job, along with the engagement with the students. Leaving a team of 16 to come to a team of 4 opened her eyes to what she was capable of doing and how easy it was for her to be independent and successful. Her coworkers still work together on things, which is a great balance of independence and teamwork that the office does so well. “You wear more hats or like different hats” is one way she explains the differences of Washburn University and K-State.
Nordyke has been a great addition to the staff at Washburn University. Kent McAnally, the director of career services, said that they mainly look for people with experience when looking for new employees.
“Dana stood out because of her experience. She has 10 years of experience in career services, has been active in our state career organization, and has been an award winner in this field,” McAnally said.
Along with experience, the applicant needs to be good working with students one-on-one and understand how higher education works. With her abundance of accomplishments, she was perfect for the position and is a great fit.
Edited by: Jessica Galvin, Brianna Smith.