Career Question Dropbox: Taking risks


Here’s the latest question from the ISU Alumni Association’s new Career Question Dropbox. To get YOUR career question answered, simply submit it online.


THE QUESTION, asked by a 2013 graduate of the College of Engineering: What risks do you wish you had taken when you first started your career?

The ISU Alumni Association’s own Julie Larson ’84, who recently retired after 34 years at the Alumni Association, had this to say:

“I’ve thought and thought, and I can’t think of a risk that I wish I would have taken. I took the risk of coming from Iowa City to Ames — where I really didn’t know anyone — to work for the YMCA. After working two years at the YMCA, I took the risk to go back to school full-time to get my master’s degree. After I started at the ISUAA, I was married, had a family and loved my job. I was very satisfied in my career. I don’t regret not pursuing more education or career advancement.”

Mike Todd ’03 ’05, who majored in engineering at ISU and now works as a science teacher, also feels like he’s taken a lot of risks:

“I’m a fairly high-level risk taker when it comes to my career, as I’m always trying things out. So I would recommend that to anyone (and I do to all my students). Try things you don’t think you’ll like and you will surprise yourself. Take on challenges that you are worried about being successful at. Don’t worry about your image in the short term; you’ll learn a lot from the experience and have more skills in the long run.”

We also asked construction engineering alum Dave Rahe ’06, who offered this great piece of advice:

“I wish I would have sought a mentor outside of my profession when I started my career. I have recently been blessed with mentors outside of the construction industry and the different perspectives they bring to our conversations has been enlightening for me.”

Great topic; thanks for asking! Do you have a career question you’d like to ask us? If so, submit it here!

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