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Hello from NW Iowa!

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Thread starter #1
I'm Marina Albert, I'm 25 living in Alton, Iowa.
I went to Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA for 2 years, and went through Biology , Music Performance, and business administration majors. Then I dropped out because I was working full time at Pizza Ranch as an Assistant General Manager.

Next year I decided to try school again and tried online college for a psych major. Did that for a semester, then just dropped out indefinitely.

I now work for the Pizza Ranch headquarters in the Training & Development department. My title is administrative assistant, but I help with content creation for our management training program, and I teach a class about raising awareness of the struggles our teenage employees go through. Last year I presented my class at our National Conference to over 200 people, and had a great response!

My passions are:
-Emotional Intelligence (currently working on training videos for these)
-Leadership/Coaching
-Operational Excellence (efficiency, lowering food/labor costs, etc)
-Public Speaking (I was a big theatre nerd, so I've never really been nervous speaking to a crowd!)
-Doing the right thing (especially when it's the hard thing)
-Making the world a better place through love and respect for others
-Music- I'd LOVE to create youtube covers of songs (I sing & play piano), but I don't know anyone who will collab with me!

I haven't really decided what my ultimate "dream job" would be, but I'm in love with Pizza Ranch and the opportunities it holds for me!

Favorite Quotes:
"The words you speak become the house you live in."
1 Peter 4:8 "Above all, keep loving one another since love covers a multitude of sins." (my wedding verse :) )
"Always be a little kinder than necessary."
 

Kylon

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#2
Ohhhhh man Marina is in the house! Loved reading about your story again, it's incredible! You are in many ways the epitome of what we preach here.

But..

You need to stop typing pizza because it's making me hungry...and I live in the woods so we don't have access to pizza that often! lmao

Welcome!
 

Gerrit

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#3
Great story! Did you go back to college because of social expectations or did you want to learn the psych? I love all your quotes but especially the first one.
 
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Thread starter #4
So I went back because I was working full time at a restaurant, and I felt like I'd be stuck there if I didn't get a degree- to me it didn't even matter what degree, I felt I needed that piece of paper so employers would see that I worked hard to earn it.

Thankfully I had 50% off at Dordt since my dad works there, and I worked hard to pay a bunch off so I didn't get a lot of loans, and they're almost paid off.

I still see on so many job descriptions that a degree is required, and it bugs me! Even for the job above mine (Director of Training & Development), the candidate needs a degree, and I know if I wanted to I could do that job and kick ass at it. I'm very much wanting to do my part to 1) realize that a $100,000 piece of paper does little for your career, and 2) you should be looking to learn every day even if you don't get a piece of paper to show you learned it!
 

Sam

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#5
So I went back because I was working full time at a restaurant, and I felt like I'd be stuck there if I didn't get a degree- to me it didn't even matter what degree, I felt I needed that piece of paper so employers would see that I worked hard to earn it.

Thankfully I had 50% off at Dordt since my dad works there, and I worked hard to pay a bunch off so I didn't get a lot of loans, and they're almost paid off.

I still see on so many job descriptions that a degree is required, and it bugs me! Even for the job above mine (Director of Training & Development), the candidate needs a degree, and I know if I wanted to I could do that job and kick ass at it. I'm very much wanting to do my part to 1) realize that a $100,000 piece of paper does little for your career, and 2) you should be looking to learn every day even if you don't get a piece of paper to show you learned it!
Welcome! I'm sure you'll pick up a ton of stuff here and the 'required degree' malarky pisses me right off too! What @Kylon says about indirect/direct credentialing is pretty valid here. Finding a way of showing you can deliver without having to wave a piece of paper around.
 

Gerrit

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#6
So I went back because I was working full time at a restaurant, and I felt like I'd be stuck there if I didn't get a degree.

Even for the job above mine (Director of Training & Development), the candidate needs a degree, and I know if I wanted to I could do that job and kick ass at it.
I understand that need as society tells us we need a degree and a restaurant job doesn’t sound like a place to grow. So I’m curious how you managed to do that after all!
For the job above yours, although I don’t know your company so I might be wrong, my younger brother works at the Dutch version of at&t. He started in the call center and after half a year he gave his boss one piece of paper from his note book saying “I’ve got a book full of improvements like these. Give me the job to make them happen” and even though that job required a diploma, they gave him the job. He grew in the company by taking responsibilities over from his bosses and when they got promoted or left he took over temporarily and eventually completely. It took time and energy but he raised two levels so far. He’s now struggling with the fact that he doesn’t have degree while looking for his next promotion. But he has done it before so I won’t be surprised if he does it again and again. My conclusion from this is that also in corporate environments you can show you can do it by offering to help out. Everyone likes getting help with their work one way or another. I hope this is useful ? and I hope you can manage to convince your company to let you grow based on your skills.
 
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Thread starter #7
That's so cool! So I started in the restaurant at 15, worked part-time through high school, then full time in college, which led to me dropping out. I went through the ranks up to Guest Service Manager (I only worked up front), and I found an opportunity to help with restaurant openings, so I helped with one (which I learned a TON from and got some connections in the Corporate Office).
Then our AGM position became open, and even though no one thought I was "good enough" for it, I came up with a plan for how to improve our restaurant, gave it to my GM and got the job.
Drama time: I dated one of the other managers for a while, was emotionally abused (didn't help I was going through my parents' divorce at the time as well) and even after we broke up it was hell working there. So I eventually hit my breaking point and quit. I was able to get a job at the pizza ranch in the town next to us and worked there for a couple months until I saw an opening at the corporate office.
I wrote a cover letter and resume, pulled all the strings I had (I knew all the "big wigs" because they owned the first pizza ranch I worked at), and got the job!

My time here has been AMAZING so far, my managers keep pushing me to do what I love and due to a lot of department changes (our director of T&D was suddenly fired and now our whole dept. is reorganizing itself) I have the opportunity to think about what job I'd eventually like to have and start going for it!
I'm deciding to keep my admin job for now, but I've insisted I be more involved with other departments(operations, continuous improvement) to have my foot in as many doors as I can. I've found my favorite thing to be creating and presenting content (workshops, classes, etc.)

Not sure what my long-term plan is quite yet, or even if I want to stay with this company. It's a great Christian company and right now my hubby & I can't afford to live without the pay and insurance, but NW Iowa is definitely not where I want to live long-term.

So in case you haven't noticed, I'm a pretty open person when it comes to sharing my story and my passions! I'm a firm believer in sharing your struggles so 1) people know you're human, just like them, and 2) to be reminded that no matter how boring/insignificant your story might seem, you deserve to thrive!
I'm hoping the inspiration from this group will help me find my dream career (whatever it is) and the courage to pursue it!
 

Sam

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#8
That's so cool! So I started in the restaurant at 15, worked part-time through high school, then full time in college, which led to me dropping out. I went through the ranks up to Guest Service Manager (I only worked up front), and I found an opportunity to help with restaurant openings, so I helped with one (which I learned a TON from and got some connections in the Corporate Office).
Then our AGM position became open, and even though no one thought I was "good enough" for it, I came up with a plan for how to improve our restaurant, gave it to my GM and got the job.
Drama time: I dated one of the other managers for a while, was emotionally abused (didn't help I was going through my parents' divorce at the time as well) and even after we broke up it was hell working there. So I eventually hit my breaking point and quit. I was able to get a job at the pizza ranch in the town next to us and worked there for a couple months until I saw an opening at the corporate office.
I wrote a cover letter and resume, pulled all the strings I had (I knew all the "big wigs" because they owned the first pizza ranch I worked at), and got the job!

My time here has been AMAZING so far, my managers keep pushing me to do what I love and due to a lot of department changes (our director of T&D was suddenly fired and now our whole dept. is reorganizing itself) I have the opportunity to think about what job I'd eventually like to have and start going for it!
I'm deciding to keep my admin job for now, but I've insisted I be more involved with other departments(operations, continuous improvement) to have my foot in as many doors as I can. I've found my favorite thing to be creating and presenting content (workshops, classes, etc.)

Not sure what my long-term plan is quite yet, or even if I want to stay with this company. It's a great Christian company and right now my hubby & I can't afford to live without the pay and insurance, but NW Iowa is definitely not where I want to live long-term.

So in case you haven't noticed, I'm a pretty open person when it comes to sharing my story and my passions! I'm a firm believer in sharing your struggles so 1) people know you're human, just like them, and 2) to be reminded that no matter how boring/insignificant your story might seem, you deserve to thrive!
I'm hoping the inspiration from this group will help me find my dream career (whatever it is) and the courage to pursue it!
We're here to support you, looking forward to your awesome future! Gonna be rough but when you start thinking like this your growth and impact will skyrocket ;)
 

Gerrit

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#9
So in case you haven't noticed, I'm a pretty open person when it comes to sharing my story and my passions! I'm a firm believer in sharing your struggles so 1) people know you're human, just like them, and 2) to be reminded that no matter how boring/insignificant your story might seem, you deserve to thrive!
Yeah I believe Openness is key to self inprovement and a good relationship with the people around you on top of the reasons you just mentioned.
I really like your story. It’s a good example of degreeless corporate success. Finding your passion can only be done by trying out lots of things so I would encourage you to take courses, read etc. as much as you can to find out what really triggers you.
If you would love outside of Iowa where would you and your husband want to go?
 

Teliah Gienger

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#10
Welcome Marina! I loved reading your story and I love your quotes. :) Thanks for sharing those and being open!

How did you become interested in emotional intelligence? I have read many books on it and learned about it in counseling.
 
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Thread starter #11
So a couple years ago I was in a one-on-one with my manager, and I said "here's the deal: I went through a hard time while I was working in the restaurant, and I know I'm not the only one. We have an opportunity to do something for our team members that are struggling." That's what led to me writing my "Inside the Lives of Our Young Team Members."
So while I'm all about kindness and love, I'm also an avid believer of maturity, especially emotional maturity. As your body matures, so should your mind.
So I've been super excited to learn about emotional intelligence, and what we can do to mentally prepare ourselves for the chaos of life. Emotional intelligence is getting to be seen as more important than the IQ!
 

Sam

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#12
E
So a couple years ago I was in a one-on-one with my manager, and I said "here's the deal: I went through a hard time while I was working in the restaurant, and I know I'm not the only one. We have an opportunity to do something for our team members that are struggling." That's what led to me writing my "Inside the Lives of Our Young Team Members."
So while I'm all about kindness and love, I'm also an avid believer of maturity, especially emotional maturity. As your body matures, so should your mind.
So I've been super excited to learn about emotional intelligence, and what we can do to mentally prepare ourselves for the chaos of life. Emotional intelligence is getting to be seen as more important than the IQ!
I agree with 100% of this! Emotional intelligence is so key!
 
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