Experiences Part I: Before College

My experiences before college were fairly basic. I babysat, volunteered at church, and worked at Jimmy John's. I learned to not take my manager's criticism personally and began to develop my skills as a professional. My experience before college revealed my love for leadership and customer service.

This post is part of a five part series.


Location: Client's homes
Dates: 2006 to 2011

We adopted my brother when I was 7, so I learned to care for children at a fairly young age. My first paid babysitting job was at age 12. Babysitting taught me to be firm, yet polite. Anyone who has kids probably knows they often lie to the babysitter. "Mom lets me eat candy whenever I want" is probably not true. Learning to say "no" while keeping the mood light has been a huge benefit in my career.

What I loved:

  • Energetic environment
  • Working with kids
  • Leadership
  • Flexibility

Skills Built:

  • Time management: scheduling dinner, chores, playtime, and bedtime
  • Conflict resolution: no, you may not hit your brother
  • Leadership: planning activities to entertain kids
  • Communication: learning to put concepts in a child's language

GoKids Helper

Location: River Valley Church in Faribault, Minnesota
Dates: 2008 to 2012 (not exactly sure)

My family joined River Valley Church when I was in eighth grade. I soon became involved in the Sunday school programs.

What I loved:

  • High energy environment
  • Working with kids
  • Leadership
  • Flexibility

Skills Built:

  • Conflict resolution: kids don't always get along
  • Understanding: understanding the real reason why a child is upset 
  • Teaching: showing children to understand one another and be respectful
  • Communication: putting concepts in a way children will understand
  • Leadership: motivating the kids to follow directions


Location: Jimmy John's in Faribault, Minnesota
Dates: Spring 2011 to Summer 2012

To this day, this was still one of my favorite jobs. I loved welcoming customers and working in a fast-paced environment. There was always something to do, which for a high energy person is a must! I loved the focus on efficiency; we always looked for ways to improve our processes.

This job also taught me to say "no" when needed. I'm a workaholic and I tend to forget that everyone needs a break sometimes. I would enthusiastically said "yes!" to extra shifts and didn't consider whether working every day of the week was wise.

What I loved:

  • Working with customers
  • Fast-paced environment
  • Always something to do
  • Getting to suggest changes
  • Focus on efficiency

Skills I Gained:

  • Resilience: getting yelled at is part of the restaurant business
  • Efficiency: we always looked for ways to improve processes
  • Customer Service: above all, customers want to feel welcome


My high school experiences revealed my love for leadership and customer service. I loved getting to work in a fast-paced environment and having a variety of things to do.

Working with children was my first experience in leadership. Anyone who says working with kids isn't substantial leadership experience hasn't worked with kids. They have no desire to follow social norms or cooperate. Learning to understand kids has helped me understand coworkers and customers. Though I love working with children, adult logic is a lot easier to follow.

Read Part II

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