Over the last few posts, I’ve revealed a little more of how the last six years has helped me get closer to finding my niche. There’s been so many students, co-workers, projects, and experiences that I will never forget. However, before I move onto the third part of my “How I Found My Niche” series, I would be remiss to not mention two more people that I have had the pleasure of working with in different capacities at Rutgers.
This person (you’ll hear about the second on Day 19) delivered a t-shirt cannon gun to me with less than a 24 hours notice.
When Rutgers Habitat for Humanity was seeking sponsors for their Build-a-Thon this person helped secure space, provided staging, and connected the club with the right people to pull off this event - back to back years.
Back in May 2012, when many of us were planning the Big Ideas Conference, this person put together one of the most amazing and dynamic socials in conference history.
This person also played bartender for my rehearsal dinner.
She is none other than: Carey Loch.
Yes again, another “big sister” in my life. My country music lovin’, big sister from Wyoming. Carey Loch is the Director of Programs for Rutgers Student Life but her title is just the beginning of who she really is. Carey has her hands in several successful programs at Rutgers such as: Dance Marathon, Beats on the Bank, and all of Homecoming week including the legendary Bed Races. And these are just the big ticket events.
Not only is Carey a colleague in Student Affairs, a close friend to Courtney and I, but she is someone that I look up to because she brings the product and the punch. She has built a collaboration with our department to add a layer of “WOW” to some of our events like Mud Run, Color Run, and EDM Run. In a time when Athletics takes precedents, Carey has created partnerships with them that has been indisposable to the programming offered to Rutgers students.
I also have to thank Carey for helping take the Rutgers Habitat for Humanity club to the next level with their fundraising and outreach. As I mentioned in day 7’s post, I served as their staff advisor and have been in the process of raising $100,000 to build and dedicate their own house in Plainfield, NJ. In April 2013, Carey stepped into to help the club secure a location and partnership with Geek Week as they executed their first 24 hour Build-a-thon.
The following semester for Build-a-thon 2.0, Carey went a step further (completely volunteer) and helped them organize a location, bridge a partnership with Residence Life, and secure a stage for a concert. She saw the hard work, dedication, vision, and passion Punit Arora, club president, had. She genuinely wanted to help anyway she could. Both Punit, myself, and the rest of the members are forever grateful for her efforts.
Did I mention Carey does all of this with one of the brightest and most positive personalities I have ever witnessed? Because of this, she is sometimes rewarded with more work and more people wanting to work with her. So how does she do it? Why does she do it?
It’s simple - she has one philosophy: Principle. Product. Personality.
Principle: When Carey starts a project or partners with someone, she wants to make sure everyone involved is doing it for the right reason. In our world, it generally should be for the students or Rutgers community.
Product: For Carey, producing a quality product is a huge value for her. Especially, if her name is going to be on it. When she is working with others, she wants to make sure these people will walk the walk and not just “talk a big a game.”
Personality: Carey’s personality is contagious and anyone that gets to associate with her are lucky. So her third philosophy is clear - you better play nice in the sand box. She knows not everyone may be as upbeat as her, but you better be optimistic, be able to carry out a conversation, and share similar values as she does. Also, it doesn’t hurt if you like to have a good time while you work.
Even though Carey’s events are large scale and draw a lot of attention, a lot of times her work goes unnoticed. But she is ok with that. Just like a lot of people that I have introduced so far, she is selfless. If you know Carey, make sure you thank her the next time you see her. If you don’t know her, get to know her.
What They Taught Me:
Carey has taught me that when you work on projects that you are passionate about, everyone involved needs to put their agendas to the side and only leave room for one - the students.
How They Inspired Me:
As I continue to build my personal brand, Carey has inspired to be a better connector every single day. Whether it is meeting people to build my own network or finding ways to put two people in touch, I always come back to “How would Carey Loch approach this?”.
Principle. Product. Personality. Don’t forget it the next time you work on a group project - real world or in class.