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Northwest Career Services hired a new Career Services Specialist.

Casey Wenstrand was initially nervous to change jobs and leave Iowa State University so he turned to his grandma for inspiration. 

“My grandma always said ‘everything happens for a reason,’” Wenstrand said. “I’m glad this opportunity presented itself and I overcame my nerves and hesitation of a completely different career path and jumped on it.”

Wenstrand is Northwest’s new Career Services specialist, scheduled to begin work Oct.1. 

Internship Coordinator Travis Kline said Wenstrand will fill a management role in their office.

“That's our office manager slash captain of the ship position,” Kline said. “They kind of make sure everything is where it needs to be.” 

He attended Northwest for two years before he transferred to Iowa State University. After he graduated, he spent the next five years working for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, including working for the 4-H youth development program.

4-H is a federal program that works with young adults and children between the ages of 7 and 18 to improve knowledge and skills of young people and the quality of life in the communities in which they live.

The charity organization has offices all across the state of Iowa, so Wenstrand had to travel a lot during his involvement. 4-H is a part of a wide variety of programs that help teach youth hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

Wenstrand also worked as the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county youth coordinator for both Madison County and Fremont County for a combined four years. 

Director of Career Services Hannah Christian said she is excited about some of the skills Wenstrand will be bringing to the Career Services office. 

“One of the things that we really loved about Casey is that we loved his ability to keep track of all kinds of the things that were going on at the different offices for his previous job,” Christian said.

This fall, the Career Services office has been relying heavily on its limited number of student employees. So far, the office has not been able to hire a full professional staff. After hiring Wenstrand, the office was able to meet that goal.  

“It will be nice to have a full staff for once. We have not had a full staff all semester. We are short staffed on students as well as professional staff. It's been kinda crazy because of that,” Kline said. 

Throughout each year, Career Services hosts different events, such as Mock Interview Day and Speed Networking, for students to get real-world experience.

Career Services also serves as the middle man to various job fairs. Due to COVID-19, all of the career fairs will be virtual. 

The office has five different events planned over the next couple of months. On Oct. 11, companies around Wichita KS will participate in the job fair. Kansas City, MO area companies will host two virtual career fairs one on Oct. 12 and one on Dec. 9. St. Louis, MO companies will host an event on Oct. 28. And on Nov. 16 Bender Consulting Services will host a virtual career fair for individuals who have disabilities.

Part of Wenstrand’s job responsibilities would include overseeing these kinds of events for the office.

“I look forward to collaborating with the office of Career Services, to serve the students of Northwest,” Wenstrand said. “With the energy and passion of our team I am confident we will accomplish the unthinkable whatever that might be.”

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