Ferguson’s Orchard in Eau Claire, Wisconsin is a fall time favorite for many people. Whether it’s picking out the perfect, crisp apple or engaging with the animals at the petting zoo, there’s much to do. 25-year-old Justin Esterly visited the orchard just in time before the winter hits. Esterly spent the day roaming around the calm orchard on the warm day, taking his time from each activity throughout the place so he could soak up the fun, autumn activity.
As I sit in the office of Assistant County
Attorney Hao Nguyen, 36, the first question I had for him came to me as I sat
in the chair a front his desk. In a clear vase, I saw small white slips of
paper with words on them and asked Mr. Nguyen to explain what they are, he
answered, “They’re fortune cookie slips. Whenever I get one, I hold onto it and
place them in this jar so on the days that I need some words of affirmation, I can
read them.” Hao went on to add, “the work we do is very stressful, so it helps
to find ways to decompress when you can.” Insite like this is why I chose to
interview Mr. Nguyen and made it clear that I picked the right person to shadow
for this report.
Mr. Nguyen’s credentials, Hao earned his bachelor’s degree in Mass
Communication from St. Cloud State University (SCSU). In asking Hao what led
him to choose a degree in communications, he replied, “a lot of people are
unaware how to communicate their wants and needs which inevitably leads to
conflict. I figured that if I could learn how to communicate transparently,
effectively and to a wide audience, I could be successful in any enviornment.” After
Hao completed his degree at SCSU, he served as a police officer for the St.
Cloud Police Department (St. Cloud, MN) and would later become a Sheriff’s
Deputy for the Stearns County Sheriff Department. (Stearns County, MN)
our conversation concerning Hao’s career experiences, I asked Mr. Nguyen how he
would apply a communication’s degree in the criminal justice field, and he answered,
“piggy-backing off of what I was saying earlier, as a law enforcement officer
you are in different enviornments and situations every time you step into
uniform and my comm degree skilled me in different ways to approach and manage
the encounters that I would have with people.”
Following Mr. Nguyen’s tenor as a law enforcement officer, Hao would decide to further his education by pursuing a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Mitchell-Hamline School of Law. Upon graduating and passing the Bar Exam, Hao was offered an Assistant City Attorney position for the city of St. Cloud (St. Cloud, MN) and served in that role from 2008 until 2015. Curious, I asked Hao what drove him to change career paths, and he eloquently answered, “I love the work police do and they’re necessity; however, as a law enforcement officer, I could only arrest criminals and bring them in. As an attorney, I can prosecute crimes and am able to make sure the right people are brought to justice.” In Mr. Nguyen’s current role, Hao serves as an Assistant County Attorney prosecuting felony cases in Minnesota’s capital district
of Ramsey County. Additionally, Hao teaches as an Adjunct Professor at Mitchell-Hamline School of Law, where he lectures on Criminal Constitutional Procedure.
In concluding our interview, I asked Mr. Nguyen what motivates him to continue moving forward in his goals, and he replied, “I want to work hard for my sons to show them that they can be or do anything that they want to be. Similarly, I feel that my wanting to do as much good as I can while I’m here motivates me because there is so much bad going on in this world, that any time not spent helping, cherishing or loving people is spent doing more harm than good.”
Twelve U14 junior curling teams competed in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for the Eau Claire Junior bonspiel on November 1-3, 2019. Each team played four games but Team Hebert came out as the first place winner. This team included Caden Hebert, Benji Paral, CJ Pecha, and Jack Wendtland.
The Zorn Arena opened its doors on Saturday November, 9th, for the annual Pow Wow to honor Native American veterans. Various tribal nations came from all over Wisconsin to take part in dancing, drum circles, and a sharing in the cultural diversity … Continue reading →
The fall is a time of danger for oak trees in Wisconsin. During the late summer and fall months oak trees are vulnerable to a disease known as oak wilt. Oak wilt is a fungus that can severely harm and … Continue reading →
By Kassy Wolfe Despite out shooting the Duhawks from both the field and from the three-point line, the Blugolds fell short with a score of 79-76. After an evenly matched first quarter, Loras surged ahead in the second to take … Continue reading →
Down to Earth is a family owned Garden center located in Eau Claire on 6025 Ardnt Lane. They also have a shop The MustardSeed Boutique and a cafe, The Five and Two Cafe. DTE was created by father and son to spend time together outdoors. This tradition is carried on with events for the whole family. On October 26th, 2019 one of these events called Pooches and Pumpkins took place. Activities includes pumpkin painting, a pumpkin patch, and of course, dogs! There is a costume contest for the pooches, the winner being awarded in treats. Not only could anyone bring their own dog for the fun, but Bob’s House for Dogs brought some furry friends in need of a home.
Radio is a format that is constantly changing and evolving to meet new industry demands, and listener interests. Having always been a fan of radio, it truly was a dream come true when I landed my first job in radio. A particular area of interest however, one that I have yet to explore professionally, is producing. Tj Dedomines is a producer at the iHeartRadio branch in Minneapolis Minnesota and I recently had the opportunity to shadow him during a typical workday.
The Minneapolis iHeartRadio branch has a total of 9 radio stations, each with their own set of demands and procedures for day to day operations. Tj is a general producer, meaning he works for most, if not all of the stations during any given week. It was quite enlightening, albeit a bit disillusioning, to find out that much of radio, as far as music stations are concerned, is preprogrammed and automated. By this I mean, all of the music is predetermined for the day and set out in advance. Even the majority of radio personalities prerecord their shows and they are left to play on their own. That is where the producers come in.
Producers like Tj are responsible for editing the shows to ensure smooth transitions from song to song. They often write or assist in the writing of commercial scripts. They direct the talent as they read the scripts and sometimes read it themselves. They formulate content for morning shows and oversee the general run of the show.
Tj studied broadcasting at Brown College in Mendota Heights Minnesota. He graduated in 2008 with a degree in broadcast engineering. He attributed his college experience as a gateway into the industry, as his internship requirement turned into a job after graduation. His first job in the industry was as a board operator, which he describes as somewhat of a junior producer, or a producer’s apprentice. It was in this role that he started learning some of the producer’s duties and responsibilities.
During my time spent shadowing him, he placed a lot of emphasis on practice and refining your craft, when it comes to not only breaking into the industry, but also to be successful in your career. One major thing I observed in shadowing Tj, is how much fun he seemed to be having at work. Even when under the pressure of deadlines or when tasks continually piled up and things got busier as the day progressed, he still enjoyed being at work. This opportunity offered me not only insight into the profession, but also a confirmation that I am on the right track.
Beverly Wickstrom is an attorney at the local firm named GTW Lawyers. Wickstrom attended Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, where she earned a degree in history. She furthered her education at the University of Wisconsin – Law School. Having no pre-profession having to do with law, Wickstrom went right into law school and gained experience through clerkships. Beverly is now part owner of GTW Lawyers, along with 5 others.
Between all of the lawyers they have around 100 – 120 clients. The firm that Beverly runs holds strong core values that put clients first, but also takes care of their employees. Wickstrom explains that a large corporation type firm will typically have their lawyers working from sun up to sun down and bringing their work home. Whereas in most smaller firms, including hers, they do not have length unnecessary hours and when they are at home they do not need to be in constant contact with their clients.
This expectation is set the minute a client walks through her door. She explains to her clients that they will be her number one priority while she is at work, but her family is her number one priority, as well. She will give her clients her full and undivided attention when it is their time, but will not give them attention during another clients time. She also explained that if a client cannot agree with her expectations she suggests them to find a different attorney. I found this to be an extremely great piece of advice, as it creates balance in your work and home life.
Hardships of Law
Beverly explains that one of the toughest aspects of being an attorney is making sure that your work does not affect your life. Many attorneys face massive amounts of stress, so they revert to alcohol and even sometimes drugs. There is even a state bar group that helps attorneys that are alcoholics because it is such a large problem within the profession. The American Bar Association points out that as many as 1 in 5 attorneys are problem drinkers which is twice the national rate. To avoid this issue, Beverly emphasizes the importance of having hobbies outside of your work. She has many passions outside of work that allow her to relieve stress and not focus on work once in awhile. These passions include knitting, volunteering and exercising.
Advice for Going Into the Legal Field
Beverly offers advice for anyone thinking of going into the legal field. She explains that confidence in yourself if extremely important, people will not take you seriously if you do not take yourself seriously. In addition, find a field of law that fits your personality because that will be most enjoyable to you. Considerable most important, pursue multiple hobbies and passions that have absolutely nothing to do with law, this will give your life balance.
Sentry Insurance, what is it and where is it? Sentry Insurance is a large company with thousands of employees who sell insurance, design the company website, and connect with customers to gain feedback. I got the opportunity to dive into that company and follow around a software product analyst for the day.
Tracey Lemke-Schleihs is a software product analyst. Her job is to not only to connect with other departments of the company such as; marketing, information technology, and sales, but to connect with the users of the company website to make sure it is running smoothly and is what the customer wants. A business analyst is very similar to what Tracey does, but deals more with the insurance side than what the face of the company looks like.
When Tracey started college, she was considered a “non-traditional” student. With taking only a few classes at a local technical college, she decided to quit and get a full-time job at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance. The company decided to send her back to school at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point when they realized she was an asset to the team. With her major being in Organizational Communication and a minor in Computer Science, it took her just short of seven years to complete school. With having a career already in place, it helped her excel in classes.
“With having those skills from school, it helped me with a lot of work-related problems” Tracey Lemke-Schleihs says.
I got a lot of advice not only from Tracey, but also the software product analyst department as well. I was told to always be inquisitive. To not be afraid of criticism. “You can learn something new any day,” says Tracey Lemke-Schleihs. What her manager told me, Trent Dudai, was to always take those extra steps into building up your resume. To not be afraid you have to many skills or life experiences on there. It really makes you stand out from the rest.
If I had to take anything away from this experience, it is that you shouldn’t worry about after graduation careers. The right job will come along, and you don’t always have to take the first one offered to you. I truly enjoyed working with the lovely Tracey Lemke-Schleihs and her team. A great experience and a possible career in the future.