Success Story - Michaela Norve

Success Story

Success Story - Michaela Norve

Finding a Job During COVID-19 is Possible!Photo of Michaela Norve

Are you a new graduate concerned about finding employment in these pandemic times?

Are you a current student struggling to figure out what you want to focus on academically? 

Never fear; inspiration is here and her name is Michaela Norve, a former Career Center student employee and a May 2020 UCCS graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.

Defying the high unemployment rate in our COVID-19 reality, she searched for, interviewed and landed a position as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) at Keystone Achievements in Colorado Springs. 

Getting to where she is now, however, didn’t happen without some indecision, significant soul searching and a whole lot of hard work. 

“I’ve changed what I want to be when I grow up probably 10 times in the last three years,” she said.

Ever the dedicated planner, Norve said that when she recently encountered some major changes in her life and she didn’t have an exact career in mind during them, she struggled. 

“I felt lost but I leaned on the support of the Career Center staff on campus where I worked to help guide me through the process,” she said. 

“Without them, I can confidently say I would not have had the knowledge on my own to go about finding a job,” she said. 

“They connected me to different employers hiring RBTs and even though this particular company wasn’t one of those specific connections, they helped me learn to navigate Indeed, LinkedIn and Handshake more efficiently which is how I found it,” she said. 

She also consistently and patiently applied for various positions in the community. 

“I spent about an hour every day looking for new listings on different job boards and the Career Center staff also helped me target my applications and resumes to specific positions,” she said. 

“I stayed on top of my search, following up with each job I applied for and getting back to any interested employers very promptly,” she said. 

That strong attention to detail paid off. 

“My new job is going awesome! I love it so far. All of the company’s values align with me perfectly and this really is a way for me to apply what I’ve learned about learning and behavior,” said Norve.

The organizational culture appears to be a good a fit, too.

“The people are incredibly welcoming and want to help. They make me feel comfortable and are making efforts to get to know me already,” she said. 

Being the new employee on board, means there are many new things to learn.

“I’ve been doing a mix of training in a classroom with the other new hires as well as doing some on the floor observation and shadowing,” said Norve. 

“I’m excited to be able to learn about the field of behavioral therapy and apply a lot of the knowledge I’ve gained during my undergrad, without having to go into grad school first,” she added.

“A lot of people think you need to have a graduate degree to find a job within psychology but this is just one of the many ways that you don’t,” added Norve.

Even though she has successfully transitioned into life after UCCS,  Norve sometimes reflects on her time there. 

“I feel a bit nostalgic when I think about how I’ve had all my “college lasts” and it’s crazy that so many of them were a year ago since the pandemic took away a lot of them this Spring,” said Norve. 

She also has a few words of wisdom for fellow students at UCCS. 

“You don’t have to know exactly what the future holds. A year ago, I pictured my life to look completely different right now. I thought I would be going into a different career as well. Despite the roller coaster of a year I’ve had, I couldn’t be happier with where life has brought me,” said Norve. 

She also suggests that students take advantage of their time at UCCS by being involved in activities. 
 
“The most rewarding part of UCCS for me was getting involved. I didn’t even realize how involved with my club sport (soccer) I was getting until I found myself serving in the President role,” she said. 

“I’ve met some amazing people that have made my experience more than worth it. The relationships I’ve built with professors, staff and friends are the most rewarding part of my time at UCCS,” said Norve. 

Turning back to her future, Norve feels positive. 

“I see myself advancing my career. I don’t know how exactly that will be but I want to continue to learn about myself and what it is I’m passionate about, and what excites me. I have always been passionate about the education system, and learning about how people learn,” said Norve. 

“I’m hoping that this new opportunity will open my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities,” she said. 

Article written by Janet Farley, UCCS Career Center.