How My Past Has Brought Me to the Present! Career and School, More of Both! Part 9

As touched on in my last post, I was employed through Interim Personnel (now called Spherion Staffing) and was placed at CorVel Corporation.  Initially, it was me and the newly transplanted branch manager (Scott B.).  I provided administrative secretarial services to him while he marketed the company, got the office up and running, and hired people.

After he hired a nurse case manager (Ann) and a vocational case manager (Connie), I started to assist them.  This allowed me to gain a better understanding of vocational rehabilitation services for workers’ compensation claims and this industry (basically cost containment for workers’ compensation claims through vocational and medical case management).

My role at CorVel was to perform secretarial administrative duties, deliver job placement services to clients with obstacles to employment; write concise and effective cover letters and resumes; train client in job seeking skills; prepare value added reports for insurance adjusters; and enter ICD9/CPT billing codes.  This kept me busy and my brain was gaining valuable knowledge!  And most importantly, this is where I got my first taste of vocational work….specifically job placement.  I liked it!  And I was good at it!

In the summer of 1992, I applied as a transfer student to Iowa State University.  During orientation, I took the wonderful placement test to help determine the appropriate level of English [no problem for me] and math courses [oh boy].  I started out at ISU in the College of Business with intentions of going for a business degree in marketing.

My first semester was……let’s say…..challenging.  Courses such as Management Information Systems, Financial Accounting, and Business Calculus – well, they were pretty much beyond my head.  Bottom line, because calculus and I didn’t see eye to eye (I even hired a tutor – Michael from Malaysia – smart dude…he really helped me) and I busted my butt for this course and earned a C-, I decided to switch majors.  On to the School of Education I go.  I enrolled in the Community Health Education program.  Click here for explanation of that program.

As I full-time student, I was taking a full load of credits each semester.  Living on the South side of Des Moines in our lovely country yellow 1970 Champion trailer, and traveling to Ames daily took its toll on me and my car, a white 1990 Olds Cutlass Calais named Chelsea Megan.

“Chelsea Megan” – named by Nick, age 3 at the time

I soon learned about the Des Moines Commuter Club.  I joined and was recruited right away to be treasurer!  Now, I only drove Chelsea Megan once or twice a week.  We (my fellow commuters) parked our cars at the Epworth United Methodist church parking lot (Euclid Avenue & 4th Street) and hopped on the interstate for a speedy jaunt to Ames.  Oh what good discussions we had enroute.  The Armory was the pick up/drop off point on campus  Anyone recall?

In September 1992, Randy accepted employment as an educator for Des Moines Public Schools and started teaching at North Alternative High School (now Casady Alternative Center).  This was good, as he would now have a regular salary (recall he was a substitute for a long time – working in a number of different schools; and then having the long term sub position at the alt school) and employee benefits!

I should mention the wonder boy Nickolas.

Randy & Nick on Carousel at Southridge Mall 1992

What a smart child. Okay, Nick is a smart adult too, albeit as your “typical 22 year old”!  He was now 3 and being cared for at a daycare facility.  We were so blessed to be living by a good friend (Chele!) who would also babysit when we needed a break.  Nick & Chele to this day are great friends!

I hope you take time to assess your VALUES – what matters most to you.  I value Faith, Family & Freedom.   Feel free to take this values questionnaire.

Stay tuned, we are only approaching 1993…..

Part 10 up next!

Any comments are welcome.  I’ve had plenty of spam, so would really like some healthy comments from real people!

_____________________________________________________

How My Past has Brought Me to The Present! Part 8

I enrolled again at Des Moines Area Community College in Spring 1990. I had already taken courses in the Fall of 1986-87 and 1987-88.

 Over a couple years’ times, I took many courses (at the Ankeny campus and the Urban campus) and graduated in 1992 with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts.

DMACC Transcripts

DMACC is an excellent educational institution and I recommend it highly! .Click here to learn more about what’s going on at DMACC   Ahem, Nick my boy, has only a few credits to complete…..get a move on young man!  Considering you were 1 when I went back to college at DMACC. I will help.

I remember one of my earlier instructors – Dr. Robin Orr (ISU Basketball Famous Coach Johnny’s daughter) taught Human Biology (click here for good info describing this course).  As our class was about to take a final, she stopped mid-sentence and asked us all to arise and take a deep breath.  Then she left the room and motioned for us to follow…we did…to a new room…..to take our test.  That moment in time really cleared the brain and prepared me to ace that test.

Thank you Robin, RIP

One day in speech class, (click here for a good explanation of this subject)  I recall talking to a classmate (right after a fellow classmate’s demonstration speech on how to make a subway sandwich!) of my intentions to continue on at Iowa State University.  I said to him, I’m not going to go ahead and get my degree here from DMACC, what does it matter since I am going on?  My wise classmate recommended I change my mind and receive the diploma as you never know what could happen.

Smart…so I did.  But for some unknown…I can’t find the diploma!  Wahhh. [Update early 2015!… DMACC Diploma found!]

I did graduate from DMACC, but did not do the walk.  Anyway, thank you fellow Mr. Classmate.  Wish I could remember your name!  I’m sure you are successful somewhere.

Another memory of DMACC was my teacher of Finite Math ( click here for a link to a good explanation of this subject).  I never thought I was much for mathematics…….but after her class I felt much better about my abilities!  She was an excellent teacher….and made (I mean absolutely made) us do our homework….and taught us how to do it!  No homework turned in, no grades.  This course helped me to learn how to think analytically….and not procrastinate with homework.

Again, I graduated from Des Moines Area Community College with a Liberal Arts Associates degree December of 1992.  Here’s a listing of my coursework! During part of this timeframe while attending DMACC,  I was employed at CorVel Corporation through Interim Personnel (a staffing agency).  CorVel has just opened a branch office in West Des Moines.  After the temporary to hire period (30 days), I was permanently hired on staff at CorVel in February of 1992.

More to come about that work in Part 9.  Stayed tuned!

As I continue to blog about my work–life, love-passion, I encourage you to take time to assess your own world.  See your value.  Go ahead and share insight into your world of work….I’d love to know more.

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

How My Past has Brought Me to The Present! Part 7

In January 1991, my transfer went through and I moved westward to the State Historical Building 600 East Locust Des Moines Iowa.  It was a beautiful new facility (officially opened by the Department of Cultural Affairs on Dec. 11, 1987) and I wanted to work there!

I worked for the State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI) in the office spaces directly through the main doors and on the right.  It was a brand new building!

I performed secretarial duties for several professionals in charge of various functions for the historical society.  I typed records and documents for state curators, archivists, historic sites coordinators and preservationists.  I helped with the volunteers, scheduled tours (for schools and civic groups) and events in the atrium (eg: recognition dinners).  I served as a prn tour guide for the Delicate Balance, Human Values and Iowa’s Natural Resources exhibit (upon receiving training by Mavis, our very smart and blind tour guide).  I loved it!

While working at the State Historical Building, I had the privilege of participating in the creative aspects of the museum, viewing many of the artifacts stored in the basement, and browsing through the historical library.  Another interesting aspect of working in the building was the facility had prisoners on community work release programs.  I got to work with a couple of them.  [Note:  In my career, I have worked with people with criminal histories; and therefore have studied the relevance of this related to working…I may blog about it in the future…]

One of the most exciting times working in the museum was helping to prepare the placards for the designers who were working on new exhibits.  I also enjoyed looking up military records and typing up affidavits and other public records.  These job activities brought me to the front lines of Iowa history.  Click here for a History of Iowa From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

After another healthy time period, I made a decision to return to college.  Again, just moving forward…..and little did I know, this was only the beginning!  I was still working at night transcribing records for a dermatologist in West Des Moines (oh, and raising a child in a lovely trailer on the Southside of town with my husband Randy!)  Randy was employed as a Des Moines Public School system long-term substitute teacher in a 3.6 self contained CLEAR (creative learning experience and real life situations) program geared towards behavioral disordered teenagers.

And working on his bachelor degree in education at Grand View University!

MORE TO COME!  Part (I’m losing count) 8 up next!

___________________

How My Past has Brought Me to The Present! Part 6

After a healthy period of time working for the Disability Determination Services Bureau (and getting really good at chair dancing – admit it, if you’ve worked in an office, you’ve done it) I decided to go for a change.

I put in for a transfer to the Department of Education and moved from the Jessie Parker Building which is on the North side of the Capitol, to the Grimes Building, 400 East 14th Street – located East of the Capitol in 1987.

Do you remember the wonderful fountain on the west side of the building (now it’s the Freedom Flame, World War II Memorial)?  I miss it.

A look of the Capitol viewed from the south side!

I worked for a number of professionals at the Bureau of Planning, Research & Evaluation as a Secretary I  a link to job description .  The professionals included the Bureau Chief, (Lee…enjoying retirement I’m sure!), two really smart consultant guys (Joe – always very well dressed & Dave – he loved peanut butter sandwiches), and other highly intelligent and efficient consultants (Kathy & Gwen & Michele); and the Department of Education’s Legislative Liaison (Gail!).

Can you envision how this may be for me?  This secretarial work was filled with variety and I enjoyed it immensely.  Specifically, working with Legislative Liaison allowed me to help draft bills, and walk the underground tunnel system (fun and scary at the same time!)  to deliver messages to the Capitol (both the House and Senate chambers, the secret hanging out area, the café, as well as the rotunda) and help out in person.   Take a look at this You Tube video for a few laughs about the underground tunnel system.

QWERTY Keyboarding!

Other work I performed helped me to gain new knowledge and really enhance my skills and abilities, including of course, the omnipresent skill of typing – which I love!  I worked with numbers, figures, statistics and data.  The necessary attention to detail, editing, proofreading and accuracy involved in this secretarial position, along with being sure to file perfectly, spell correctly, type speedily, back up all documents, communicate with people from all over the state and work on a team ….allowed me to learn a lot.

I remember getting our first Apple McIntosh in the office.  Talk about getting creative with proposals!

The people I worked with were wonderful (Sheila and Kim V, Ruth the librarian, Mike the mail clerk, Gordon the custodian, plus many more), and of course my friend Chele followed me over there…..and she continues working for this Bureau (you rock girl!)

Also, during this time in my life while working days for the DE, I worked a part time job at night.  I read a blind for a moonlighting transcription opportunity in West Des Moines and sent a resume along with a cover letter.  A few days later, Dr. Barrett F. Schwartz contacted me and we interviewed.  I accepted a position to transcribe this dermatologist’s medical records.

I transcribed for Dr. Schwartz for five years

Oh, ALSO, during this time in my life, I had a baby boy (Nickolas made a grand entrance weighing in at 9lbs 4 ozs on April 12, 1989), and got married (to Randall on August 4, 1990).  Yes in that order!

In December of 1990, Randy graduated with a bachelor of arts in Education from Grand View College  (now a University).  He has a secondary teaching degree, with minors in government and social studies.   He was continuing to work nights and weekends at Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant (remember Garcia’s when it was south of Merle Hay Mall on Douglas?  Hey Janice (my sister in sunny Florida) are you reading this? … You practically lived there!).

I like this statement: Education is the quest for the unknown and the processing of the known 

After more time went by, my mind encouraged me to move forward.  So I put in for a transfer  …… Stay tuned for Part 7.  Again, as I’m moving forward and backward at the same time (ahhhhh), I’m not sure how many parts there will be….!

Please comment on your education!  Where’d you go?  What’s your major?

Word count: 300 Draft saved at 2:11:03 pm.

Sharing

 Show sharing buttons on this post.

Title:  characters. Most search engines use a maximum of 60 chars for the title.
Description:  characters. Most search engines use a maximum of 160 chars for the description.
Keywords (comma separated):
Disable on this page/post:

 

How My Past has Brought Me to The Present! Part 5

Continuing on from my post titled How My Past has Brought Me to The Present – as a Rehab Counselor! Part 4

I started working for the State of Iowa as a Clerk Typist III-IV at the Disability Determination Services Bureau (DDSB) in 1987. Disability Determination Services are state agencies funded by the United States Federal Government.  Their purpose is to make disability findings for the Social Security Administration.  Applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) file applications for disability benefits at local Social Security field offices.  (Taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia…this was the most simple explanation I’ve located so far).

DDSB is located at 535 SW 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309-4535, 515-725-0700  To apply for disability, you can call to make an appointment or apply online.  “Disability” is defined in different contexts using different methods for specific programs. This Social Security Administration website may help you – What We Mean By Disability.

At DDSB, I performed clerical/secretarial work for disability examiners (Hi Paul Kreger!)  Examiners evaluate initial and reconsideration claims for disability benefits under the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs, determines eligibility according to Social Security regulations, policies and procedures.

I had a green IBM Selectric

My job involved typing up (yep – good old typewriters) and mailing out a variety forms, memos and  documents, correspondence and decisions to people who have applied for disability.  I also transcribed reports from dictation (and some hand written notes) using transcription machines.

Transcriptionist

I worked around several ladies (no males in our pool) and we transcribed every day! 

Head set on, foot operating the transcription pedal, furiously typing away.  Such cacophony!  We always had to makes duplicates, and even triplicate forms….which means if you made a typo, the first page, upon hitting the correction key may get “fixed” but the carbon copies – oh my it took the fabulous smelling, wonderful whiteout!

Towards the lend of my days at DDSB we got – drum roll please, word processors.  The mainframe of our computer took two entire office spaces!  

I learned a lot about the ins/outs of applying for disability.  It takes patience and perseverance (completeness and accuracy to your application as well) if your disability is not “cut and dry”…. and can be frustrating considering it can take a LONG time to know the status of your claim.

Don’t give up the process of applying for disability if you sincerely realize you cannot work anywhere. I have experience helping others successfully with their permanent and total disability claims.

Stay tuned for Part 6!

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Childhood Interests Can Help You Find the Right Career

This is an eye opening You Tube Video.  Think about your early interests in life…..while watching this video ~ Childhood Interests Can Help You Find the Right Career

black-baby-clip-art

My first business in my childhood was starting a baby sitting service (not just being a baby sitter!)  I recruited help from my neighborhood friends and we worked as a team to provide “having fun while caring for your children” services to customers.  We called our team “The Sheiks”….and I can’t remember why now. Could be because we played a lot of dress up!

 

Basically, I have been an entrepreneur ever since!

Let me know how I might help you find the right career.

 

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

 

 

 

Job Analysis – It’s the Job Dummy not the Person!

A job analysis is a process that will identify and determine in detail the particular job functions and activities, interactions within the physical environment, work conditions, requirements for a particular job, expected or desired productivity, vocational qualities, and the relative importance of all these factors combined.

An important concept of a job analysis is that the analysis is conducted of the Job, not the Person.

A job analysis involves collecting data on a job or occupation and making judgments about its relevancy. While data may be collected from incumbents through interviews or questionnaires, the product of the analysis is a description or specifications of the job, again, not a description of the person.

Call me ~ Amy at 515-282-7753 for help with analyzing a job or two! You may be surprised of what you’ll find to help you make decisions on a litigated case involving work and disability.

One of my specialties is forensics…..starting from a goal and moving backwards!

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

Services to Evaluate Vocational Rehabilitation Potential

The variety of services available to evaluate the vocational rehabilitation potential of the claimant are useful for insurance carriers, employers and attorneys.

Services benefit the claimant through counseling for disability-related concerns, and when appropriate, to access the labor market and identify job placement opportunities.

Contact us at vocresources@msn.com for samples of recent casework and who benefited, and how!