Sarah Sanders: Building Community While Studying and Working at Sierra College
In 2009, I found myself in California as a transplant from the Northwest and a newly single mother. I had no job and no idea what I would do for school, but I did find my way to Sierra College. It was close to where I lived, a beautiful campus, and easy to register for. I had a wonderful counselor that helped me navigate my scholastic pursuits, but also helped me along the road to settling into my new life.
Once I felt secure enough to work, I mentioned to her that I was interested in finding a job. She immediately walked me to the supervisor of the counseling center, sat me down for an interview, and by the end of the day I was hired as a student worker. It was very likely one of the best things that happened to me in California.
I loved working for the college! I felt truly supported academically and found a real sense of family and friendship. I worked for the counseling center in various capacities for almost four years, where I grew professionally and was trained with utmost patience. I was torn when I began looking for long-term careers and was offered a position with Placer County as a Child Support Caseworker. I knew how much I loved working at the college, but the idea of securing a position with the county was appealing. I left with a heavy heart into my new endeavor.
After exactly one year with the County, it was clear to me that I did not want to spend my days there. But THAT’S a long story! As I looked for a new job, I was still in touch with my friends and coworkers from Sierra, and decided to apply for the temp pool in hopes that I would be able to return to an environment that was nurturing and not draining. After only a few months, I was called in for an interview, and the rest is history! I started in a new division as a temp, then found myself in the permanent position.
In the few short years that I have been here, I have seen many, many changes implemented, but there is something that always stays the same—the sense of community.Sarah Sanders
I could not be happier to be back! Sierra is the type of institution that invites you to stay. The environment and comradery is unlike any other I’ve experienced in a work place. On hard days, you can laugh things off with those who understand you. On good days, you feel inspired to lift others up. In the few short years that I have been here, I have seen many, many changes implemented, but there is something that always stays the same—the sense of community. Here, I feel that people are rooting for me. With other employers I have felt like an intruder, just waiting for my day at the chopping block. I take great pride in working for the college and speak highly of it always.