Below is an interview with a recent OSU alum, Maarja Simila, about life after college. She is now a Bilingual Family Educator at Community Action Head Start.

What does a typical day consist of for you?
A week after graduating I was offered a job as a Bilingual Family Educator with Community Action Head Start. I have a caseload of 40 families so most days I’m at my site in Woodburn working on making sure that all our Head Start kids and families have the resources they need. This might be helping parents schedule yearly physical and dental exams for their child or helping them work on their family goals. I’m not stuck at my desk all day, although some days I am out doing home visits or in the classroom helping with snack or mealtimes.

How is it like now working instead of going to school?
My first couple weeks of work felt overwhelming as I was learning the job and all my responsibilities and I missed having the flexibility of making my own class schedule. After a few weeks though, I began to settle in to the job and got to know my co-workers and then I really started to appreciate being able to come home from work and just relax and not having to worry about having homework to finish. Also, I really like having my weekends free; not having to schedule my plans around finishing homework or projects.

What has been the most difficult part of the transition?
The hardest part has probably been adjusting to waking up a lot earlier, usually around 5:30am, mostly because of the 45 minute to an hour commute that I now have. It’s not like the 15 minute walk to class I used to have. It’s also been hard getting home from work and not really having energy for anything else besides eating, relaxing and then going to bed.

What has been the most enjoyable part?

By far the most enjoyable part has been knowing that I’m making a difference, even if it’s just one child or family at a time. It is also definitely nice being paid for my hard work and not having to pay for it.

Posted by Silver Trujillo, Career Services Assistant