I worked my way up the corporate ladder in accounting while I attended Indiana University. I soon came to learn that my major, accounting, may not be the best fit. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a specialization in Accounting from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. After earning all the credits I needed to to sit for the CPA exam, I knew I would NEVER want to take the test. After a few years working in both the nonprofit sector and corporate accounting, I found my way out of accounting and into analytical work with the help of an amazing mentor and friend.
Analytical work was was a much better fit. I enjoyed problem solving and regular challenges. Through different life events, I found myself living eight hundred miles away and was looking for a new adventure. I bought a franchise and became an entrepreneur. We were consistently ranked fourth or fifth in the nation for monthly sales! After several successful years as a business owner, we decided to expand the franchise. This expansion came at a bad time and the expansion was an eventual failure. Luckily our primary location was still going strong and was able to withstand the financial burden that came with the failed expansion. As I thrived in a constantly changing and challenging environment, I struggled to find my next challenge.
Through a former classmate, I found my way into freelance writing and financial consulting, while maintaining the local franchise. You can find my current blog work here and my personal freelance page here. I also have a children’s book that is in the process of being published! Soon after launching myself into self-employment, I caught up with Jessica Sremanak. Jessica and I grew up together, and we were just catching up when we started discussing how strange our career paths were. We shared how we wished we had better direction and understood more about the opportunities out there, and ExplorHer Career was formed!
I graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and promptly commenced a career in market research with Procter & Gamble. Just a few years prior, I didn’t even know what market research was. Then, a mentor told me about her career in market research. I was fascinated! The intersection of marketing, psychology, and competitive intelligence complete with the ability to geek-out on data!
It quickly became apparent at P&G that countless business careers existed that I never knew about. For example, I discovered industrial design (a career I would have loved) but never considered it because it wasn’t even on my radar. At that point, I wanted to widen the exposure young women had to career options by empowering them with knowledge and broadening their career choices through an elevated awareness.
Helping others with their careers has always been part of my career. I served on the recruiting team at P&G and was a recruiter for PwC. I have worked as a career coach for both Penn State University and Indiana University. Currently, I teach Compass 1 at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, a course dedicated to career exploration and developing students’ personal brands. My passion for helping others both launch their careers and fully understand what’s possible has remained constant. In 2017, during a conversation with Sarah, I mentioned my idea of helping young women understand what’s possible for their careers. From there, ExplorHER Career was created.
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Danielle Prostrollo, Interviews & Writing
I started my professional life while studying music business at New York University. While I was in school, I played the viola for the NYU Symphony Orchestra, recorded sessions for film scores, and so much more. As the realization of graduation approached, I took an internship at a renowned independent music publishing house called Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc., which turned into a full-time job in international copyright management. When I wasn’t at the publishing house, I worked in concert and event production. I worked as a producer for the New Music Seminar in both Los Angeles and New York and stage manager for the Escape to New York music festival as well as director of the New York Music Festival.
The thrill of creating live events kept me coming back for more, and my co-workers at Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc. were a family that I could count on for professional and friendly support. But despite having a vast network of friends and colleagues and enjoying the work I was doing, it was not enough. I decided to go back to school for a master’s degree in learning, pedagogy, and assessment at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. focusing on the state of professional readiness training within higher music education.
Diving into the research and getting to know the state of higher music education lead me to pursue a Ph.D. with a focus on the student experience. I spent a year visiting U.K. music colleges interviewing students about their perceptions and feelings about their lives. During this fieldwork, I fell in love with the process of talking to people and finding their stories, and I wanted to continue that. Through Sarah Callahan, I discovered freelance writing and have since had the opportunity to talk to some fascinating people and found their unique stories to share with the world. I do this when I am not writing my doctoral thesis or for my personal blog The Philosopher’s Scone!
After two degrees and five years of college, I finally realized something about myself: I have too many interests to ever have just one career. So far, I’ve had many including ones in retail, education, music production, audio post production, and pet care. Now, I work full-time as a professional dog walker in NYC (yes, it’s a real job) and moonlight as a freelance writer and proofreader.
I’m happy to join the ExplorHer Career team as editor, proofreader, and webmaster and am excited to watch it grow. Observing the journey of Sarah and Jessica as they nursed their idea into fruition has been a lesson in both perseverance and ambition. I look forward to seeing where it takes them.
Morgan Upshaw – Brand Ambassador Director
I started Purdue University as a Pre-pharmacy student and quickly realized this wasn’t the right fit.
After considering my skills and interests, I changed my major to Accounting and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting as a proud alumna of Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management.
Landing an internship and full time job proved to be very challenging during the Great Recession.
I love campus life and the academic environment, so I chose to continue my education, becoming a member of Purdue’s Master’s of Science Accounting program’s first graduating class. Following graduation, I became an accountant in the manufacturing industry for a Fortune 100 company.
During my job search, I gained admiration and appreciation for the career counselors who mentor and coach students to success. As I transitioned from campus classrooms to conference rooms and cubicles, I knew I wanted to stay connected to the university by helping students on the path to finding the right career opportunity. As a member of the office recruiting team, I recruited students at the career fairs, and hosted company tours and info sessions. As an alumni volunteer, I conducted mock interview sessions, and participated in student-geared conferences as a keynote speaker and panelist.
ExplorHer Career is an initiative that I was instantly excited about. I’m looking forward to working with young women who are bright, driven, and aspire to fulfill their greatest potential.