Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Careers

Summer 2017

Careers that really clicked

As she stepped up to the employee store counter to pay her bill, LEGO® specialty products manager Katie Regan’08 pulled out a credit card bearing Washington State University’s famous logo. Jordan Paxton ’04, behind her in line, let out a shout of recognition. “Bumping into Cougars on the East Coast is a big deal,” explains Paxton, a consumer service specialist at LEGO. “It rarely happens, so when you come across a Cougar, you’re instant friends.”

Regan and Paxton soon learned they had more than Cougar pride in common. The two attended WSU at the same time, then both accepted jobs with The Walt Disney … » More …

grape vine illustration
Summer 2017

Hanging a left at wine

The allure of winemaking has attracted a menagerie of professionals to the business. Washington State University’s Viticulture and Enology Program has lured aerospace engineers, Army medics, apparel designers, scientists, and many others to the field. Here, we bring you a few of the stories of those who have changed careers by hanging a left at wine.

After years of dissecting rat brains, Berenice Burdet had had enough.

The Argentinian neuroscientist was untangling stress’s web of physiological effects on the hippocampus. The stress we feel in a crammed subway train, Burdet says, affects our behavior by dampening affect. We become depressed, and activity levels decline. … » More …

New and Noteworthy
Summer 2013

New & noteworthy

2013summer_wagontrail_cover

Planet Rock Doc: Nuggets from Explorations of the Natural World
WSU Press, 2012

The Whole Story of Climate: What Science Reveals about the Nature of Endless Change
Prometheus Books, 2012
by E. Kirsten Peters

The Harvard-trained geologist, columnist, and WSU employee compiles her syndicated science columns in a peripatetic, curiosity-fueled volume in Planet Rock Doc, and applies her knowledge of geological systems to climate change throughout Earth’s history in The Whole Story of Climate.

Blazing a Wagon Trail to Oregon: A Weekly Chronicle of the Great Migration of 1843
by Lloyd W. … » More …

Spring 2003

Is the sky still blue in Emerald City?

Now that the economy has stalled, are the Seattle unemployed here to stay, or are they packing the U-Haul?

When I moved to Washington’s west side, I pursued a different career and landscape. When I was laid off last year, I decided to stay put rather than move where the job market held more promise. I thought I was following my heart, but according to Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class (New York: Basic Books, 2002), I was following a trend.

Florida, a Carnegie-Mellon economics professor, theorizes that those in “creative” occupations “drive” the economy, i.e., corporate profits and economic growth … » More …

Winter 2001

Beginning again

…attaining any worthwhile goal is really a matter of taking one small step at a time.

GEOFF GAMBLE, former interim provost at Washington State University and now president of Montana State University, once told me studies show that most people will have three different careers in their lifetimes. During that conversation, he revealed that he was on career number two, since he’d worked in insurance before becoming an academic.

According to a variety of sources, people may change careers as many as seven times during their working life. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports 67 percent of American workers don’t like their jobs, and … » More …

Spring 2006

Cooking is its own reward

Betsy Rogers ’89 had her eureka moment while sitting in a cooking class.

It was 2000, and the Seattle-based public relations specialist had recently lost her job in a downsizing. Instead of jumping back into a new job, she decided to freelance and take her time in deciding what to do next.

“I did like being self-employed, but I didn’t like what I was doing,” she says. What she really enjoyed was food, though. With some extra time on her hands, the Washington State University public relations graduate signed up for a cooking class.

“So I was thinking about what things really get me … » More …

Fall 2002

Paying it forward

Under the right conditions, mentoring will snowball.

One of the simplest pleasures I have is turning on the radio and hearing the voice of Frank Shiers (’77 Communications), a Seattle deejay working the mid-day shift on MIX 92.5. I’ve known Frank since high school, and his influence on me was so profound, it’s the main reason I went to Washington State University.

My family does not have a long history of higher education, and Frank was nearly the only role model I had for showing me the way through a bachelor’s degree. But since then, things have changed for new students at WSU. Recognizing the … » More …

Fall 2002

It takes a village to raise an engineer

In two months spent as a participant in the Boeing A. D. Welliver Faculty Summer Fellowship, I observed that there is more to the development of an engineer than just formulas and lectures.

In spite of the recent downturn in the economy, the demand for engineers in the workforce has remained fairly strong. Yet the enrollment in the nation’s engineering programs has been flat and retention of students low, with less than half of entering engineering students receiving engineering degrees. Prospective engineers are attracted because of their curiosity about the way things work and their problem-solving creativity, but they often drop out of engineering programs … » More …